We thought it might be interesting for visitors to be able to put some faces to names, or indeed names to faces, of some of the staff they speak to here at the Centre:
Tilly came to volunteer in 1981 and fell in love with the reindeer, the mountains and the keeper! She married Alan and they took over the herd in 1989. Tilly is now based at our Glenlivet hill farm but is often at Glenmore to help with the reindeer here.
Alan started working with the reindeer back in 1978, as Mr Utsi’s assistant herder. He’s taking more of a backseat these days and is based at our hill farm, but is most often found taking part in a hill race!
Fiona is Alan and Tilly’s daughter, and has been closely involved with the herd since she was born. She now manages the day-to-day running of the Centre, when she’s not away taking part in amazing adventures like the Everest marathon.
Alex is Alan and Tilly’s son, and can turn his hand to herding reindeer, fixing anything and carrying vast amounts of feed onto the hill. He is dad to Hamish and Marley, the first of the next generation of Scottish reindeer herders.
Catriona looks after the books and makes sure that our accounts run smoothly. She’s known as “the Oracle” as she always seems to have the answer to any administrative, financial – or personal – issue!
Hen came for the Christmas season in 2007 and never managed to leave. She has an encyclopedic memory for which reindeer is related to which, and is the go-to person for identifying reindeer in a photo.
Andi came for the summer of 2010 and now can’t imagine living anywhere else. She somehow seems to have gained the title of “technical advisor”, but is happiest out with the herd on the hill.
Lotti’s parents are friends of the family, so Lotti has been coming up to help out since she was 13. After working here for several years during uni holidays, Lotti is now here full time, and her sunny smile keeps us all happy!
Ruth rejoined our team after a few years away, and is the loveliest lass, always helpful and with a warm welcome to all of our visitors. She’s also our latest Blog Wrangler, making sure you’re entertained every Friday!
Sheena has been a friend of the herders for a long time, and has become more involved over the last few years. Her cheerful hard-working attitude keeps us all buoyed up during busy spells, and her artistic abilities help make her the Queen of ‘Christmas Fun’!
Amy joined our team in Spring 2022 and quickly proved to have a natural talent for working with the reindeer, having a background in dairy farming.
Lisette has lots of past experience with sheep, and was keen to get involved with animals again. She has quickly got to grips with these new beasts and her cheery enthusiasm puts a smile on everyone’s face.
Cameron came to volunteer with the herd in 2022 and then came back to work with the herd that autumn. He’s the go-to person for building and fixing things, and the king of random facts about just about any subject!
We have a motto here that “Once a reindeer herder, always a reindeer herder”. With big seasonal fluctuations in work load/business, we have a lot of people who return regularly to pick up bits of work.
Mel has been an occasional herder since 2005, coming back to work here in between other varied seasonal jobs. She’s always full of enthusiasm and slips straight back into the role. And is constantly losing things…
Joe first came to visit as a friend of a friend when he was completing an impressive winter run round the local mountains. Over time we’ve roped him in and he’s now a regular seasonal herder, especially over the winter months.
Sally has worked with the herd seasonally for a long long time, whilst spending the rest of her year working with cattle in the Lake District. She’s known for her endless energy and enthusiasm!
Ben’s quiet manner and experience with guiding groups of visitors have meant he has taken to reindeer herding with ease. His lovely dog Dug has also become part of the Reindeer House family!
Kate grew up locally and has worked at the Highland Wildlife Park before coming to join us here as an occasional herder. She is a great photographer and a confident tour guide.
Chris may have only started working here properly in 2017, but he has been adopting a reindeer since 1998 with several spells of volunteering in-between, so has a firm grasp of how things run. He’s a budding hill-runner and often found out on a mountain.
Manouk first visited Scotland and the reindeer on holiday from the Netherlands a few years ago then came back to volunteer three times in 2017 making a great impression with staff, reindeer and of course, the dogs. Manouk joined full time in 2018 making use of her many language skills to woo reindeer and colleagues alike, and though she now works in teaching, still comes back occasionally.
Fran first visited the reindeer in 2022, came to volunteer, then joined the team for summer 2023. We’re hoping to get her back again for another stint at some point!
Isla has a long family association with the reindeer, having ridden on the sleigh as a 4 year old at her mum’s wedding! She came to work for us in 2023, and no doubt will be back again in the future.
Cassie has worn many different hats in her life, and we’ve been delighted to have her join the team. She’s the best person ever at making easy conversation!
HannahHannah first visited the reindeer in 2018, came to volunteer then joined the team for summer 2023. She left with a lasting memento – one of Tilly’s border terrier puppies!
EK first visited the reindeer in 2022, came to volunteer, then joined the team over summer 2023. She pops back every now and then for a few days’ work, and keeps us all highly entertained when she’s here!
Emm is our most regular volunteer, who seems to spend more and more of her year up here! She has a great memory for the reindeer and her annotated herd lists are legendary. She is always bubbling with enthusiasm and loves sharing her knowledge with visitors.
Emily is part of the family after marrying Alex, so does the odd bit of work with us here at the Centre as and when.
Colin has worked with the herd on and off for many years, and comes back seasonally to do a bit of work. His laugh is unmissable!
Paul initially met the reindeer when he came to Glenmore on holiday with his wife Pat, and kindly lent us his vast array of carpentry and building skills. Nowadays he still helps out with reindeer events in northern England, and he’s left a great legacy at Reindeer House!
Tina helps us out in the office when we’re struggling to keep on top of adoptions in the busy Christmas season. She loves being with the herd and her two children are already learning the ropes!
Carol has been coming up to volunteer with the reindeer for years, and is around most weekends. She loves to chat with everyone and regales visitors with her many stories on the Hill Trips!
Sharon and Colin
Sharon and Colin love coming to help us out, particularly in the busy Christmas season. Colin is a great assistant on Hill Trips and Sharon brings out everyone’s artistic side with her crafting activities.