The Nursery Manager is Mel Mitchell. Mel is responsible to the Directors for the day-to-day management and forward planning of the Nursery. She appoints staff, ensures children are safe, happy and well cared for, and liaises with parents and carers. The Designated Safe-Guarding Lead is Mel Mitchell.

The Business Manager is Jemma Fletcher. Jemma is responsible to the Directors for the financial and developmental aspects of the company.


All members of staff are appropriately trained, have been DBS checked to an enhanced level and are trained in Paediatric First Aid. We were inspected by Ofsted in November 2019. They rated Green Lane Nursery and Childcare Centre as "Outstanding". As members of the Durham County Council’s Child Carers’ Organisation, our co-ordinator advises the Nursery of any changes to Ofsted's procedures.

Staff attend regular training to keep them up to date.

Staff recognise the importance of training and quality monitoring systems offered by Durham County Council’s Early Years team, which helps to develop further best practice.

Deputy Manager: Fiona Aston

Minnies Room - Sophie Gipps (leader)        
Kirsty Hutchinson, Christianne Tarn, Rebekah Clerk, Hazel Wilson, Caitlin Owen

Tiggers Room - Angela Bellwood (leader)        
Toni Fletcher, Lauren McGarr

Rising 3's
 Sam Howe (leader),
Karen Hinch

Pre-school - Fiona Aston (leader)
Hannah Warren, Diane Raine, Ruth Tarn

 - Lindsay Alderson (leader)        
Hazel Wilson


Iain Brown (Chair)                 - Business Development Manager
Fiona Lovatt                           - Vet
Sarah Hamilton                     - Department for Education
Nicola Linsley                        - Assistant Head Teacher of Green Lane C of E Controlled Primary School
Rachel Watson                      - Farmer
David Ewart                            - Retired headmaster
Abbie Cone                             - Green Lane C of E Primary School KS2 teacher

The Nursery Accountant is Jane Ascroft.‍

Directors oversee the strategic management and planning of the Nursery. All Directors have a DBS certificate and are OFSTED registered. They meet monthly with the Nursery Manager and Business Manager to discuss matters relating to the Nursery.

Minutes of all meetings are taken.

Annual accounts are compiled and audited by the Nursery’s Business Manager for the Directors and accountant, and are lodged with Companies House and the Charity Commission.

The Chair of Directors can be contacted by letter via the Nursery.

Whilst Directors share the responsibility for the Nursery’s strategic management, each has an area of special interest:

Child Protection and Safeguarding:       Abbie Cone
Health and Safety:                                       David Ewart and Rachel Watson
Education and Welfare:                        David Ewart and Rachel Watson
Accommodation and Equipment:          Iain Brown and Fiona Lovatt
Finance:                                                        Iain Brown
Policies:                                                         Nic Linsley and Iain Brown
Staff links and Human Resources:          Fiona Lovatt and Sarah Hamilton
Management Supervision:                        Nic Linsley and Sarah Hamilton


Iain Brown – has a child at Green Lane Church of England Controlled Primary School where he is a parent Governor. He studied agriculture and ran his own business.  He is currently a new business development manager for a global company.  He is passionate about the importance of ‘a good start to education’, is an active member of a local church and a trustee of Barnard Castle Guide HQ.  As Chair of Directors, he co-ordinates the strategic business and leadership oversight of the Nursery.

Abbie Cone - qualified as a teacher in 2012, currently a Year 2teacher at Green Lane Church of England Controlled Primary School where she has teaching and learning responsibility for assessment.  She was previously a youth worker for the YMCA.  Her role and responsibilities as a Director of the Nursery includes overseeing safeguarding; she has been involved in both appraisal and supervision roles within the Nursery.

David Ewart- has lived in Barnard Castle for 30 years.  His daughters were educated at Green Lane Church of England Controlled Primary School. He has taught economics, geography and mathematics in maintained and independent schools, retiring as Headmaster of Barnard Castle School in 2010.Interests include Duke of Edinburgh’s Award assessment, rugby refereeing, governance of schools, offender management and overseas’ travel. His grandsons are now of primary ages.

Sarah Hamilton - has had two children pass through the Nursery and is very pleased to continue her association now in the role of a Director.  She is a trained nursery nurse and worked in nurseries for 10 years prior to joining the Department for Education where she worked on the development of early years’ policy; she was involved in developing the EYFS.  She still works in the DFE but on otherpolicy areas to include school admissions and home school transport.

Fiona Lovatt– has had three children attend the Nursery, progressing through Green Lane Church of England Controlled School and onwards to Teesdale School.  After 17 years at Castle Vets, she set up, in 2013, a sheep veterinary consultancy, Flock Health Ltd., working with sheep farmers, vets, retailers and pharmaceutical companies throughout the UK. Fiona is a part-time associate professor at the University of Nottingham where she teaches veterinary students.  She has been a Director of the Nursery since 2008and was chair in 2017-8.

Nic Linsley- qualified as a teacher in 1999 and has since taught in primary schools in both Darlington and Barnard Castle.  She holds the position of Assistant Head Teacher at Green Lane Church of England Controlled Primary School and is Key Stage I lead and EYFS lead.  Within the Nursery, she holds Director roles and responsibilities as leader of learning, appraisal and supervision. She is also a Staff Governor of Green Lane Church of England Controlled Primary School.

Rachel Watson – after completion of the NNEB Diploma in Nursery Nursing, she established a business as a registered child minder and nanny in North Yorkshire.  On securing a farm tenancy with her husband from Raby Estates, she moved to Teesdale, actively contributing to all aspects of farm life. She held the post of Parent Governor for 12 years in an ‘outstanding’ local primary school and involved herself fully both assisting in the classroom and on school trips.