Fiona Thackeray

Chief Executive Officer

MA (Hons) Psychology (1:1); RHS certificate in Horticulture (distinction)

Fiona was awarded the Dr Andrew Duncan Medal by the Royal Caledonian Horticultural Society in 2019 to recgonise her contribution to horticulture. She has worked in therapeutic gardening for 27 years, with people with learning disabilities in Bristol and students with visual impairments in Brazil (with whom she built Brazil’s 4th sensory garden) before returning to Perthshire to support therapeutic gardening projects all over Scotland. She pursued her interest in the natural world in Greece, working in sea turtle conservation and later in Brazil, helping on a project investigating the relationship between orchids and bees in the Atlantic Forest.


Jenny Simpson

Information and Fieldwork Services

BA Hons Sociology & Social Policy; MSc Applied Social Research

Jenny briefly had her own business selling herbs and salad plants at Farmers Markets. Previously, as a University of Stirling researcher, Jenny was involved in range of projects within the Institute of Education; Department of Applied Social Science and with the Scottish Children’s Reporter Administration. She has also worked as a Tourist Officer, Retail Supervisor, Nursery Nurse and Museum Attendant, and brings these associated skills to Trellis.

Jo Cook

Fundraising and Development Officer

BA (Hons) Hospitality Management, Chartered Institute of Marketing DipM, HNC Landscape Management.

Jo ran her own successful design agency for 14 years creating hundreds of public play spaces for local authorities, schools and community groups across the UK before returning to college in 2012 to study Horticulture and Landscape Management at SRUC Oatridge.  Jo also undertakes a communications role for environmental charity, The Green Team.

Joan Wilson

Trellis Project Advisor

HND Hospitality Management, HND Garden Design (Distinction), RBGE Certificate in Practical Horticulture (Distinction)

Joan’s youthful days were spent in a farming and hospitality environment, followed by diverse roles in a busy wholesale plant nursery along with employment as a trainer for a Horticultural Recruitment and Training Company.

Since 2014, Joan has worked with Trellis in her current role as Project Advisor.  Joan has varied experience of the many therapeutic benefits that garden related and community spirited activity brings and particularly enjoys sharing her own knowledge to support and benefit others.

 Joan has personal family experience of the challenges and opportunities that living with a learning and physical disability present, along with experience of managing a Self-Directed Support Budget. Joan lives on a dairy farm in Ayrshire and surprisingly enough, always has a suitable supply of goods for her Composting workshop………


Lorna Baker

Office Manager

Lorna has previously worked in the Construction, Shipping and Property Investment & Management industries. She has a wealth of knowledge in administration and recruitment.

 In her spare time Lorna can be found practicing her golf swing or out exploring the Fife countryside.

Sharon Watters

Digital Development Officer

BA (Hons) Marketing

Sharon was born in Belfast, studied Marketing at Strathclyde University, lived in London and Melbourne and has now settled in Fife. She studied computing at Elmwood College and, for many years, taught computing, literacy and numeracy to forensic psychiatric patients at the Murray Royal Hospital in Perth. She has a keen interest in web design and in 2014 successfully completed an Open University course in photography.

In her spare time she enjoys tennis and reading but spends much of her time chauffeuring her youngest son to and from basketball games.


Emma Martindale

Training & Standards Officer

Emma originally qualified with a BSc in Ecology and then went on to work in a variety of community garden projects in Edinburgh including at the Edinburgh Community Backgreens Association, and Gorgie City Farm. She then returned to study, completing a Masters in Social Work and then working in an adult learning disability team in the Scottish Borders while continuing to garden at home, and as a volunteer with Gorebridge Community Gardens. After 8 years in social work the pull of therapeutic gardening was strong, and she is now self-employed running Nature on the Mind, which supports individuals and organisations to improve wellbeing through gardening and time in nature. Emma has an interest the professional development of those working in social and therapeutic gardens, the links between improved wellbeing and time spent in gardens and nature, and in academic research relating to horticultural therapy and nature-based interventions.