Meet the Dorset Team
Julie Plumley - CEO
Julie was born and raised on a farm and is still heavily involved in the industry. She also had over thirty years of experience as a social worker before setting up Future Roots, her Care Farm in Dorset.
This was initially aimed at providing services to children and young adults but when Julie’s dad, a lifelong farmer, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s, it was decided to start the first Countrymen’s Club.
This has now been used as the model for all the farms and gardens in the Countrymen UK Network
Bev is a Countrymen group mentor.
Bev has been working at the countrymen club for nearly 10 years. She has always been involved in farming and she has worked on farms all over the south of England both as a milk recorder and a stock person.
She now lives in Dorset with her husband Graham and they keep a small herd of pedigree Dexters. Bev has three children and seven grandchildren!
Nigel is a Countrymen group mentor.
Nigel was born in Kent, but he has lived all over the UK. He went to London when he was 18 to study graphic design, he has also been a postman and has taught art in Bermondsey, South East London. Nigel has lived in Dorset for 6 years and he says working on the farm with the countrymen is a huge contrast to his life in London! He also does voluntary conservation work, and he is a keen bird watcher.
Jan is the group coordinator.
Jan grew up on a small holding in Worcestershire before going to agricultural college in Shropshire, she has worked on farms both in the UK and New Zealand. After having her 2 children Jan became a carer and an Activity Coordinator in a local care home. She says that working for the club is a great combination of her 2 careers!
Jan lives on a farm with her husband Colin who is a tractor driver. They have recently become grandparents.
Steve is a Countrymen group mentor.
Steve was born in Kent and he has lived all over the UK. He worked in the insurance industry for 20 years before deciding to cut his hours and work in care. He has worked with all aspects of care including learning and physically disabled. Steve and his wife Jane lived in the forest of Dean for many years before moving to Dorset 5 years ago. They love travelling, especially to France and he also enjoys camping, cycling, and sailing. He loves the quieter pace of life. He has 2 children and 1 granddaughter. He has worked for the club for over 4 years.
Chris is the farm manager at Rylands farm.
Chris was born and bred in Dorset. He has had many careers. He has worked in factories and at a warehouse as the food manager, he was a postman for 12 years and he also drove HGV’s for 12 years around Norfolk and Suffolk.
When he reached 50, he went back to college to study Countryside management and whilst studying started as a volunteer at the farm. He is now the farm manager and has worked here for 9 years!
Chris is in a relationship with Tria. He has 2 grown up sons and he has his own small flock of Zwarbtle sheep.
David grew up and worked on the family dairy farm at Sturminster Newton. He led the campaign to keep its livestock market open and helped found the local Museum and Mill Society. He performs Dorset dialect poetry by William Barnes and Robert Young and collects local tales. He enjoys riding his Triumph Bonneville and plants fruit trees.
He spent years supporting community projects and parish councils across Dorset and was himself a local councillor for 32 years. David also ran a homeless hostel and helped many young people via The Prince’s Trust. Genealogy is one hobby and he has unearthed Dorset roots back to 1525. David has three daughters working in housing, care and conservation.
My name is Mike Dredge, I’m 73 years old, married to the same person for 52 years, and live in Dorchester.
My background is in vehicle engineering and management having started as an apprentice mechanic, back in the last century, and gradually worked my way up to retire in 2015 as Fleet and Engineering Manager for Dorset Fire and Rescue Service.
Just before retirement I started volunteering with Future Roots and the Countrymen’s Club at their premises at Whitfield near Dorchester and when that closed I was “persuaded” to volunteer at Rylands Farm. Originally, I only helped out with maintenance, building and farming tasks but recently joined the small team of staff that run the Countrymen UK at the farm.
(According to the farm staff and clients my main interests are drinking tea and eating cake but it’s not true as I like coffee as well.)