The Stray Ferret

The Stray Ferret is a trusted news service, providing quality local journalism across Harrogate, Knaresborough, Ripon and beyond.

A reliable source of information is vital for a community; it provides a platform from which real change can be advocated for, and public opinion can be voiced.

We’re committed to holding power to account by being first for daily breaking news and using in-depth, investigative reporting to raise awareness around serious issues.

We’re also passionate about championing everything that makes the area so fantastic, celebrating the achievements of individuals and businesses, and highlighting upcoming events.

The team at The Stray Ferret is committed to the core journalistic principles of accuracy, fairness, independence and impartiality.

The Stray Ferret Team

  • Tamsin O'Brien


    Tamsin worked for BBC News for 20 years, and was previously the head of BBC Yorkshire and the North West of England. During her career, she covered major events such as the Hillsborough Tragedy, the 7/7 Bombings and the trial of Harold Shipman. Tamsin has been a long-term resident of North Yorkshire, having lived in the Harrogate area for the past 18 years.

  • John Plummer


    Since he first started his career as a journalist at the Wisbech Standard in 1989, John has contributed as a writer and editor to numerous publications, including The Times and Third Sector. As title editor of The Stray Ferret and a long-term Killinghall resident, he has a unique insight into which stories matter most to the area.

  • Calvin Robinson

    Chief Reporter

    As one of the BBC’s first Local Democracy Reporters in Lincolnshire, Calvin’s forensic knowledge of local government and the public sector is reflected in his in-depth investigative reporting. Used to combing through vast amounts of information to hold power to account, he’s a meticulous and data-driven journalist.

  • Tim Flanagan

    Senior Journalist Ripon

    Tim Flanagan is an experienced journalist and communications professional, who lives in Ripon. He was employed by the Ackrill Newspapers Group from 1977 until 1988 and in that time became chief reporter for the Harrogate Advertiser. Tim has huge knowledge about the history of the district and is our person in Ripon.

  • John Grainger

    Senior Journalist

    John has an extensive knowledge of the region which is highly useful when it comes to providing a platform for communities to have their voices heard. With a passion for human interest, farming and environmental stories, he’s also a keen proponent of digging deep and following every lead to provide accurate, detailed and trusted information.

  • Lauren Ryan


    With both an undergraduate and master’s degree in journalism, Lauren is highly qualified in her craft, and has been a key asset to The Stray Ferret news team since joining in January 2024. While she has a special interest in entertainment and environmental stories, she always has her finger on the pulse of what’s important to the communities across North Yorkshire.

  • Flora Grafton

    Trainee Journalist

    Flora is an invaluable member of The Stray Ferret news team, and a tenacious truth seeker when it comes to uncovering local news that matters the most to readers. Whether it’s being first on the scene to bring attention to breaking news, or dedicating herself to longer-form features, she has a keen instinct for what makes a story important.

Commercial Team

  • Emma Harris

    Commercial Manager

    Emma joined The Stray Ferret in 2020 to offer her marketing knowledge on a temporary basis and luckily never left, becoming the invaluable head of commercial shortly thereafter. She is an expert in understanding audiences and leading digital marketing campaigns, getting organisations noticed across all channels and providing clients with a clear ROI.

  • Charley Christopher

    Marketing, Events & Customer Manager

    With an impressive background in radio, marketing and communications, Charley understands the changing landscape of marketing and advertising, and is a creative solutions provider. Originally from Leicestershire, she’s been a Harrogate resident for the past decade, and loves collaborating with clients in the area to develop stronger relationships.

  • Connor Creaghan

    Journalist and Commercial Team Lead

    As one of the longest-serving team members at The Stray Ferret, and with a background in digital media, Connor offers his knowledge and creativity to the commercial team. Having first started his career as a journalist, he has valuable experience of both sides of the coin and works hard to get the best outcome for all advertising clients.

  • Carolyn Castelow

    Finance Manager

    In many ways, Carolyn is the engine room at The Stray Ferret, looking after all aspects of the business administration and office support. She’s brought a wealth of experience from her previous administrative and marketing roles at a legal firm and within the IT industry to make sure day-to-day office life runs smoothly.

  • Fiona Callow

    Senior Lifestyle Writer

    Graduating Sheffield University in 2019 with an MA in Journalism, Fiona has worked in both commercial and editorial roles since that time, with a focus on features and what’s on content. At The Stray Ferret she covers relevant lifestyle topics across the region, as well as creating content for valued clients by producing advertorials.

  • Francesca Lee- Rogers

    Francesca Lee- Rogers

    Senior Lifestyle Writer

    Coming Soon