Meet the team

The College Valley is run and managed on a day-today basis by a team of brilliant individuals who collectively act as one unit for the benefit of guests, tenants, wildlife and the valley as a whole.

Stephen Crees

Stephen is the Estate Manager and manages the day to day running of the valley, carrying out the decisions made by the directors at the board meetings. This includes overseeing all staff, contractors and forestry operations. He is a good decision maker and problem solver. His favourite part of the valley is the heather hills.
In his spare time, Stephen loves to go fly fishing or shooting. He is a black belt in karate and was British Heavyweight Champion when Catherine first met him in 2001, and still teaches twice per week - his children love to go with him to this. Stephen is keen on all sport, particularly rugby. He helps coach Liam's rugby team and take him to all rugby matches and some karate competitions. He is also fantasic with horses which is how he and Catherine met.

Catherine Crees

Catherine runs Cuddystone Hall and helps Stephen out with valley admin. She and Stephen live in the valley and got married at Cuddystone in 2007. She works out of the valley three days a week too.
Her favourite month in the valley is May, with the vibrant yellow gorse and cute lambs running around, looking forward to the whole summer ahead.
She has 2 children, Liam and Lauren and spends a lot of her spare time driving them to clubs and activities. She adores dogs and loves to take the house dog Bonnie on a long walk with the children – they love Southernknowe Ford for splashing in. She enjoys horse riding and hopes to get back to it at some point in the future when life is less hectic.

Ros Harris

Ros manages the holiday cottages in the valley. She enjoys chatting to people, either by email or on phone, trying to solve their booking queries. She is friendly, knowledgeable and professional. She also does the changeovers at Hethpool Mill and cleans the hall.
She has lived in the valley for 13 years and loves the peace, tranquility and changing seasons. She loves to be out in the fresh air, and walking, regardless of the weather, and her favourite walk is from Fleehope along the valley bottom, through the wilderness, climb up to the refuge hut, along to the top of the Schill and back down to Fleehope.
She enjoys just sitting in the garden watching the cloud moving over and up and down the hills and also clear evenings watching the stars.

She doesn’t have a favourite season as each one has its own merits.

Charlene Drysdale

Charlene manages Mounthooly Bunkhouse. She is friendly, welcoming and approachable, and very passionate about keeping the bunkhouse clean and tidy and comfortable for all of our guests new and old.
In the 2 years she has been at Mounthooly, she has met some lovely people, and loves to hear their stories.
She is a busy working mum and in her spare time likes to spend time with her family, especially a trip to Bamburgh and Seahouses. Her favourite time in the valley is most definitely summer when they occasionally have a little wander to the beautiful Hethpool Linn.

Michael Thompson

Michael has worked as College Valley’s bookeeper for many years and works in our Hethpool office every Wednesday. He is diligent, reliable and always willing to help the rest of the team.
He enjoys spending his holidays either in Scotland, climbing the Munros, or heading to the fells of the Lake District.
He says that each season in College Valley has its own unique qualities, but the changes in colour revealed in the trees and on the hillsides during Autumn are a truly wonderful sight.

Pat Ivison

Pat is one of the housekeeping team for the holiday cottages and looks after Coldburn, Dunsdale and The Schoolhouse.
She lives at Goldscleugh with her husband Jeff, their house is nestled under Cheviot, it is a stunning location and they have magnificent views and walks right from the door. They grow their own vegetables or as much as the wildlife allows!

She likes to go for walks or what she calls a ‘mooch’ - especially in the springtime when everything is fresh and new or when it’s frosty and crunchy underfoot.
She is also keen on arts and crafts and has always made her own greetings cards and likes to experiment in new ideas so has quite a collection of paraphernalia !