Lowberdale Farm Logo

Lowberdale Farm is managed by a group of trustees and supported by volunteers with skills and experience in education and training, health and wellbeing, management, business, finance and farming.

The Trustees

Robert Sales
Robert lives in Ashbourne, and is a retired Chartered Patent and Trade Mark Attorney who was a Director in a local firm working in Derbyshire and Staffordshire for over thirty three years. Robert has been active in youth work for many years, including working with a number of vulnerable youngsters. He very much enjoys working with young people and seeing their character and confidence develop. Robert has enjoyed working on farms ever since he learnt to milk by hand when five years old on a farm holiday. He has a wide range of interests including playing and watching football, and working on narrow gauge steam railways.
Henry Rusch
Henry took a career change in 2009 having purchased a farm in the Peak District as his 50th birthday present.
Following a successful career as a Chartered Accountant, having held numerous directorships at well known Logistics companies, along with Julie, established a farming lifestyle with Sheep, Rare breed cattle and Holiday cottages. Now wishing to use the farming knowledge gained within the local community saw the Charity as an ideal opportunity to become involved.
Liz Hitch
Trustee Lead on Safeguarding
Liz retired in 2017 after 34 years in education as a Geography teacher, Humanities Adviser, Ofsted Inspector and most recently as Headteacher of a large comprehensive school in Hertfordshire, leading the school to an outstanding Ofsted inspection in 2014. In 2018 Liz and her husband retired to Hartington, in the middle of the Peak District, where they keep very busy with walking, gardening, travelling and lots more. In 2020, she was delighted to take on the role of a trustee at Lowberdale and looks forward to working with the team to develop more opportunities for young people on the farm.
Fiona Goodyear
Fiona was a primary school teacher for 18 years and also worked as a Learning Support Assistant at Buxton and Leek College. She has run a wide variety of after school-clubs and activities relating to her interests, from STEM and Code Clubs to gymnastics and skating and is a great believer in presenting children with wide-ranging opportunities beyond the usual curriculum to help equip them with skills and interests for their future lives.

Now retired, Fiona and her husband have acquired a small wood just to the north-west of Lowberdale. They are keen to use this as a backdrop to scientific investigations, art, literacy or practical woodland skills. It also provides a calm space to reconnect with the natural world.
Dorothy Hawton
Dorothy has had three careers – first as a Software Engineer, then as a full-time mum bringing up four children and finally as a Maths teacher working in Further Education and Sixth Form. In 2018 she retired from teaching and moved to an old farmhouse near Hartington where, amongst other things, she and her husband welcome guests to their holiday accommodation. She has always enjoyed being involved with children and young people in a voluntary capacity and hopes that as a trustee she will be able to help Lowberdale develop, particularly in an administrative role.
Contact Dorothy
Tamara Oates
Tamara is currently working as a Welfare and Safeguarding Officer at Derby College. Prior to this she worked as a Residential Warden at Derby College, and Cover Supervisor at Derby Moor Academy. Tamara has been involved in youth and children’s work for 21 years, especially with the Girl’s Brigade, where she is currently Captain of the 23rd Derby Brigade. Tamara studied Agriculture at College, and has worked on various farms, but particularly enjoyed volunteering at Lowberdale Farm, over a number of years. Tamara was very excited to be asked to join the board of trustees in 2021.
Andy Brown

Mark Lowe
Project Lead
Mark Lowe grew up on the family farm. After completing an Agriculture degree at Newcastle University, he spent six months volunteering in Sao Paulo, Brazil working with young people and children. He returned to help on the family dairy farm for 18 months, before going back to Newcastle to complete a Key Stage 2/3 Science PGCE. He taught for two years within a Middle School in Morpeth, Northumberland as a Year 5 class teacher.

After 5 months in Bolivia learning Spanish, and volunteering with youth and Agricultural development projects, Mark returned to the farm and started working for DART Training as an Agricultural tutor in the provision of apprenticeships with 16-19 year olds and with 14-16 year old School based learners. Mark went onto co-ordinate the land-based provision across 7 schools in Derbyshire.

From March 2012, Mark has worked full time on the family farm, in the hope of developing a farm, which young people can come to and enjoy its benefits.
Contact Mark

The Volunteers

Ruth Lowe
Ruth Lowe
Ruth worked on the family Chatsworth Estate farm at Shottle after leaving school. She married John and came to Field House Farm, Beresford Dale in 1973. They were blessed with 2 sons and 2 daughters. Mark is the second eldest. Ruth has always enjoyed working with animals and appreciates the satisfaction of feeding and caring for them. Ruth also finds it rewarding to share and care for the young people who come to the farm to work and learn and seeing them grow in confidence and ability.
Andy Warren
Andy trained as a construction manager running multi million pound projects in London for ~10 years from 2000 managing all aspects of the work from planning, project management, safety, coordination and handover. Following a year out to work overseas Andy trained as a Water Manager and now manages wastewater networks across the midlands.
Malcolm Hawton

Lowberdale Farm is a Christian charity, operating as care farm based near Hartington, Buxton, Derbyshire.

Charity no. 1180913
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