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 the office runs smoothly. She’s also known as “the Oracle” as she always seems to have the answer to any administrative or financial 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.
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.
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 has recently 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!
Amy joined our team in Spring 2022 and has quickly proven to have a natural talent for working with the reindeer.
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 Spring 2022 and has come back to work with the herd this autumn.
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.
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.
|Ben H |
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!
Olly first came up to stay when he was 17, and now works with us a few days a week. He can fix anything, is an amazing cook and is always there to solve a problem.
Harry started working with the reindeer for Summer 2021 and quickly fitted in with the team and the reindeer – he’s a natural around animals.
Zac has worked on and off with the reindeer since 2010, and is back here for the summer months.
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. She enjoyed it so much she 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 over summer 2023.
Isla has a long family association with the reindeer, having ridden on the sleigh as a 4 year old at her mum’s wedding! Now she is working here over the summer.
Hannah first visited the reindeer in 2018, came to volunteer then joined the team over summer 2023.
EK first visited the reindeer in 2022, came to volunteer, then joined the team over summer 2023.
Dave is our token Kiwi, who has plenty of experience with other livestock, but hadn’t worked with reindeer until joining us in 2016. Since then he has fixed many things for us, after quiet consideration and plenty of sketches on pieces of scrap paper.
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.
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.
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.
|Colin D |
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!
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.
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 comes to visit twice a year, fixing everything we’ve broken and always keen to talk to everyone!
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!
Linda is part of the family and helps out with the office work and at Christmas events when we’re busy.
Kathleen has been coming up to volunteer with the reindeer for years, and her calm presence is always a great help. She turns her hand to many things, including leading Hill Trips and making sure visitors are enjoying the experience.
|Sharon and Colin |
Sharon and Colin love coming to help us out, particularly in the busy Christmas season. During Christmas Fun Colin is a great assistant on Hill Trips and Sharon brings out everyone’s artistic side with her crafting activities.