Meet The Team

  • Peter Harris

    Head Gardener

    Peter Harris

    Head Gardener

    My role

    With so many gardens and trails to maintain, and responsibility for all planting and shrub maintenance throughout the estate, I manage the gardening team to ensure the entire estate is given the care and attention it needs and deserves. I also work very closely with Gordon and June, helping to bring ideas and plans to life.

    I carry out many essential seasonal tasks in the gardens (weeding, pruning, planting etc.) and working with local gardening societies to share knowledge and arrange tours. I continuously work on long-term plans to ensure I am sourcing the correct plants, flowers, and shrubs for the many different gardens.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    My answer to this question usually changes with the season, as different gardens look stunning at different times of the year. However, if pushed to choose one favourite area, I would have to say The Garden Trail because of its wonderfully vibrant colours which result from our collection of hydrangea and rhododendron. In addition, I am extremely proud of the Alpine Garden which we created on this trail.

    Away from work

    Most weekends are spent enjoying family activities. My love of the outdoors also crosses into my spare time, and I particularly enjoy exploring new walking trails, mountain biking and, on occasion, open water swimming.

    Carol Jennings

    Secretary
    Carol Jennings at Montalto Estate

    Carol Jennings

    Secretary

    My role

    As secretary, I am responsible for all reception duties, which helps to keep the day-to-day business ticking over. However, because I have been working for Gordon and June for many years, in a number of roles, I’m often called upon to carry out lots of other tasks, such as assisting with events and afternoon teas.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    The estate is a beautiful and incredibly picturesque place to work so even on the most stressful of days, just stepping out of the office and into the grounds can work wonders. I have had the pleasure of watching the estate change and develop over many years, and it’s a real honour to be able to work somewhere so beautiful and so full of history.

    Away from work

    As a mum to three teenagers, I don’t have a lot of free time for hobbies and interests. Aside from being a part-time chauffeur to my children, I do enjoy watching football, and I like to keep fit with the help of a personal trainer.

    Keith J Reilly

    Operations Director
    Keith J Reilly at Montalto Estate

    Keith J Reilly

    Operations Director

    My role

    As Operations Director my daily duties are varied. I originally joined the company as Manager of The Carriage Rooms back in 2012. Since the decision was taken to open the estate, my role has changed to focus on preparing the business for this. Thus, my role includes overseeing events, HR, operations, marketing and a lot more besides. Working closely with David, my brother-in-law, is fundamental to ensuring the future success and smooth running of the estate.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I first came to know of the estate when I was 16 and I met my future wife Rachael, Gordon and June’s daughter. Because of my familiarity with the estate, I could pick many areas, but the one that most stands out for me is Shackleton’s Wood. This relatively small wooded area is visible from my house, and a short walk takes myself and my family right up on to it. I love the formation of the trees, and the elevation of the area gives stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

    Away from work

    With four children between the ages of two and nine, most of my spare time is spent with family. I love running and have completed a number of marathons and ultra-marathons. I am on the Board of Governors for Spa PS, and coach Mini Rugby on Saturday mornings for Ballynahinch RFC.

    Bernie Hyland

    Duty Manager

    Bernie Hyland

    Duty Manager

    My role

    I am responsible for the day to day running of the retail elements of the estate. In this role, you have to be a people person and I work with a great team of dedicated and enthusiastic individuals. We continually aim to ensure that a high level of customer service is maintained in the Café, Shop and at our ticket and information office. My role regularly changes from hour to hour, so I have to be adaptable to what is happening on the day.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    There are so many beautiful places; it’s hard to choose just one. I enjoy being on the estate first thing in the morning. It is so peaceful and I am continually noticing new aspects every day. Two of my favourite places on the estate are the Low Wood and the beautiful Montalto House.

    Away from work

    I love eating out and now, I can use work as an excuse that it is for market research! I also love getting outdoors and taking my dog Lady with me; she is a big fan of the estate too.

  • Gordon & June Wilson

    Owners of Montalto Estate
    Gordon and June at Montalto Estate

    Gordon & June Wilson

    Owners of Montalto Estate

    Our roles

    June and Gordon Wilson purchased the estate back in 1995 and lived in Montalto House right up until 2009.

    June is a true visionary who spends much of her time working with both our in-house team and various contractors, to bring to life her idea of a wonderfully unique 21st-century visitor attraction. Passionate and wholly dedicated to the estate, more than anything else she wants visitors to enjoy its past, delight in its present, and re-visit with family and friends time and again.

    Gordon is just as passionate about Montalto as his wife and regards ownership of this wonderful estate as both an honour and a privilege.  He very much enjoys his role working alongside June and is always willing to do whatever tasks need to be done, to facilitate staff and support June as work progresses on the estate.

    Our favourite thing about Montalto

    The second we set eyes on Montalto over 22 years ago, we both fell in love with it, and we continue to love it a little bit more every day. We both love the tranquillity of the estate and that feeling of being at one with nature. So, while our ‘favourite part’ changes almost every day, right now ‘The Lost Garden’ is where we’re discovering and uncovering lots of wonderful things that have been hidden away since the early part of the 20th century!

    Away from work

    We have been fortunate to be able to travel the world extensively but are both now very content to spend our time living and working on the estate, and developing it as a business that many of our family are involved in. However, with nine fabulous grandchildren all living nearby, there’s nothing we enjoy more than spending time with them

    Wilson Johnston

    Ranger

    Wilson Johnston

    Ranger

    My role

    I work on conservation and education projects right across the estate. However, I also meet with community groups, schools, and many other local organisations to help create the link between people and nature. This outward-looking approach helps us to maintain relationships, where knowledge is shared for the benefit of all. My role also includes protecting existing and encouraging new wildlife by helping to maintain their habitat and supervising designated outdoor spaces.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    There is so much to admire and enjoy on the estate that asking me to pick out one favourite part is almost impossible. I love the peace and quiet which the estate provides, I love the beautiful trees, old buildings, and pathways that are so full of history and character, and I love the abundance and variety of wildlife and insects that can be seen here.

    Away from work

    I love to spend my spare time gardening, doing some DIY work around the house, carrying out upcycling projects, reading up on local history and wildlife conservation, and walking my beloved dog Tobi.

    David Wilson

    Managing Director

    David Wilson

    Managing Director

    My role

    As MD of Montalto, my role is a very strategic one, as we look to implement our ambitious plans which will see the estate enter the next stage of its life. However, as a chartered fellow accountant, the financial aspects of the business are at the core of my responsibilities. However, I do get out of the office now and then to give guided tours of the house.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    Having grown up here, this was a difficult one for me for the simple reason that I have inherited my parents’ passion for the estate. However, if I had to choose one, it would be The Boat House, one of our more recent additions: this serene setting offers incredible views of the house and mirror-like reflections on the lake. If you ever feel the need to take some time for quiet reflection, this is the perfect place to do it.

    Away from work

    I have two children under the age of seven, so I like to devote all my free time to my family and days out with them.  Also, with such a close connection to Montalto, myself and my family love spending time on the estate grounds – an experience other families will be able be able to enjoy now too.

    David Earle

    Head Chef

    David Earle

    Head Chef

    My role

    I am responsible for overseeing all aspects of food within The Café at Montalto.

    I collaborate with the Head Gardener whereby together we plan dishes for the seasons, ensuring we use as much estate grown produce as possible. Of course the Duty Manager and I work closely to make certain that we are consistently presenting and serving dishes to a high standard. No two days are the same in Montalto, so my team and I have to adapt to new situations regularly.

    I also work alongside the events team to deliver a variety of menus suitable for the many events that we hold on the estate. These range from afternoon teas to seasonal workshops.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    It has to be the range of produce available from the estate that can be used in my creations. It’s such a unique experience, to be able to walk out of the kitchen into the café garden and pick fresh herbs for use in our dishes that day. We have recently starting using free range eggs from the estate chickens and honey from bee hives on the estate. It all fits in perfectly with the ethos of Montalto Estate – Reconnecting With Nature.

    Away from work

    I enjoy eating out in a variety of restaurants. It gives me the opportunity to sample other dishes and seeing what local chefs are putting together can be very inspiring. We have such a talent for simple wonderful dishes in this country and it’s something that I feel should be celebrated more. When I’m not eating out or socialising, I love taking my dogs for a walk on the beach.

  • Tracy O’Toole

    Marketing, PR & Communications Manager
    Tracy O'Toole at Montalto Estate

    Tracy O’Toole

    Marketing, PR & Communications Manager

    My role

    In my role, I’m responsible for managing the publicity of Montalto Estate; this includes the promotion of all events and private hire venues, branding, advertising, and raising the overall profile of the business.

    As well as managing current marketing activities, my role is strategic and due to the variety of services and attractions that we offer to the public, it involves creating a long-term marketing plan to ensure Montalto Estate continues to develop as a leading tourist attraction.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I love walking through the estate on my own, with just the sights and sounds of nature surrounding me. It’s a great way to feel rejuvenated and relaxed, which is exactly what opening up Montalto for people to enjoy is all about. I’ve recently been to The Lost Garden and I’m very excited about what this area will look like by the time it’s ready for the public to visit.

    Away from work

    I enjoy walking my dog, meeting up with friends, and I love to travel; my fiancé and I spend a lot of time planning where our next destination will be.

    Laura Johnston

    Assistant Venue Manager
    Laura Johnston at Montalto Estate

    Laura Johnston

    Assistant Venue Manager

    My role

    Charlotte and I work very closely together to ensure that our weddings and corporate events run smoothly and meet all expectations. Multi-tasking is essential to event management and is something I really enjoy and find comes naturally to me. I love how each event is different to the last, from the decor, suppliers and food to the little challenges each event brings. I have even been known to glue a bride’s shoe back together!

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    The Walled Garden is one of my favourite places on the estate because, for me, it’s a wonderful relaxation space. It is so pristine and picture perfect and is guaranteed to provide an excellent backdrop for wedding photographs.

    Away from work

    When I’m not at work I love spending time with family and friends, as well as taking my beloved dog Tobi for a walk.

    Charlotte McCann

    Venue Manager
    Charlotte McCann at Montalto Estate

    Charlotte McCann

    Venue Manager

    My role

    I am the main point of contact for prospective couples and clients wishing to hold their weddings and events on the estate. My role covers everything from initial meetings that showcase the venue to managing the running of the occasion right through to a smooth delivery ensuring that everything behind the scenes runs like clockwork. It’s important to me that I am always available to talk through any planning details in the run up to the big day. In addition, I’m responsible for all ordering of supplies, organising maintenance of the venue, and not least of all ensuring staff deliver a first class service.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I have three favourites rather than just one. With my family, I love exploring The Low Wood, when seeking some ‘me time’ I love The Boat House at the edge of the lake, and in winter, there is nothing I enjoy more than standing in front of the roaring fire in The Carriage Rooms, taking in the beautiful views below.

    Away from work

    With three young boys and a job in events, spare time isn’t very plentiful. However, when the laptop is finally closed for the day and the children are in bed, relaxing in front of the TV with my husband is what I most enjoy.

  • Laura Johnston

    Assistant Venue Manager
    Laura Johnston at Montalto Estate

    Laura Johnston

    Assistant Venue Manager

    My role

    Charlotte and I work very closely together to ensure that our weddings and corporate events run smoothly and meet all expectations. Multi-tasking is essential to event management and is something I really enjoy and find comes naturally to me. I love how each event is different to the last, from the decor, suppliers and food to the little challenges each event brings. I have even been known to glue a bride’s shoe back together!

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    The Walled Garden is one of my favourite places on the estate because, for me, it’s a wonderful relaxation space. It is so pristine and picture perfect and is guaranteed to provide an excellent backdrop for wedding photographs.

    Away from work

    When I’m not at work I love spending time with family and friends, as well as taking my beloved dog Tobi for a walk.

  • Charlotte McCann

    Venue Manager
    Charlotte McCann at Montalto Estate

    Charlotte McCann

    Venue Manager

    My role

    I am the main point of contact for prospective couples and clients wishing to hold their weddings and events on the estate. My role covers everything from initial meetings that showcase the venue to managing the running of the occasion right through to a smooth delivery ensuring that everything behind the scenes runs like clockwork. It’s important to me that I am always available to talk through any planning details in the run up to the big day. In addition, I’m responsible for all ordering of supplies, organising maintenance of the venue, and not least of all ensuring staff deliver a first class service.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I have three favourites rather than just one. With my family, I love exploring The Low Wood, when seeking some ‘me time’ I love The Boat House at the edge of the lake, and in winter, there is nothing I enjoy more than standing in front of the roaring fire in The Carriage Rooms, taking in the beautiful views below.

    Away from work

    With three young boys and a job in events, spare time isn’t very plentiful. However, when the laptop is finally closed for the day and the children are in bed, relaxing in front of the TV with my husband is what I most enjoy.

  • David Earle

    Head Chef

    David Earle

    Head Chef

    My role

    I am responsible for overseeing all aspects of food within The Café at Montalto.

    I collaborate with the Head Gardener whereby together we plan dishes for the seasons, ensuring we use as much estate grown produce as possible. Of course the Duty Manager and I work closely to make certain that we are consistently presenting and serving dishes to a high standard. No two days are the same in Montalto, so my team and I have to adapt to new situations regularly.

    I also work alongside the events team to deliver a variety of menus suitable for the many events that we hold on the estate. These range from afternoon teas to seasonal workshops.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    It has to be the range of produce available from the estate that can be used in my creations. It’s such a unique experience, to be able to walk out of the kitchen into the café garden and pick fresh herbs for use in our dishes that day. We have recently starting using free range eggs from the estate chickens and honey from bee hives on the estate. It all fits in perfectly with the ethos of Montalto Estate – Reconnecting With Nature.

    Away from work

    I enjoy eating out in a variety of restaurants. It gives me the opportunity to sample other dishes and seeing what local chefs are putting together can be very inspiring. We have such a talent for simple wonderful dishes in this country and it’s something that I feel should be celebrated more. When I’m not eating out or socialising, I love taking my dogs for a walk on the beach.

  • Peter Harris

    Head Gardener

    Peter Harris

    Head Gardener

    My role

    With so many gardens and trails to maintain, and responsibility for all planting and shrub maintenance throughout the estate, I manage the gardening team to ensure the entire estate is given the care and attention it needs and deserves. I also work very closely with Gordon and June, helping to bring ideas and plans to life.

    I carry out many essential seasonal tasks in the gardens (weeding, pruning, planting etc.) and working with local gardening societies to share knowledge and arrange tours. I continuously work on long-term plans to ensure I am sourcing the correct plants, flowers, and shrubs for the many different gardens.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    My answer to this question usually changes with the season, as different gardens look stunning at different times of the year. However, if pushed to choose one favourite area, I would have to say The Garden Trail because of its wonderfully vibrant colours which result from our collection of hydrangea and rhododendron. In addition, I am extremely proud of the Alpine Garden which we created on this trail.

    Away from work

    Most weekends are spent enjoying family activities. My love of the outdoors also crosses into my spare time, and I particularly enjoy exploring new walking trails, mountain biking and, on occasion, open water swimming.

  • Wilson Johnston

    Ranger

    Wilson Johnston

    Ranger

    My role

    I work on conservation and education projects right across the estate. However, I also meet with community groups, schools, and many other local organisations to help create the link between people and nature. This outward-looking approach helps us to maintain relationships, where knowledge is shared for the benefit of all. My role also includes protecting existing and encouraging new wildlife by helping to maintain their habitat and supervising designated outdoor spaces.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    There is so much to admire and enjoy on the estate that asking me to pick out one favourite part is almost impossible. I love the peace and quiet which the estate provides, I love the beautiful trees, old buildings, and pathways that are so full of history and character, and I love the abundance and variety of wildlife and insects that can be seen here.

    Away from work

    I love to spend my spare time gardening, doing some DIY work around the house, carrying out upcycling projects, reading up on local history and wildlife conservation, and walking my beloved dog Tobi.

  • Tracy O’Toole

    Marketing, PR & Communications Manager
    Tracy O'Toole at Montalto Estate

    Tracy O’Toole

    Marketing, PR & Communications Manager

    My role

    In my role, I’m responsible for managing the publicity of Montalto Estate; this includes the promotion of all events and private hire venues, branding, advertising, and raising the overall profile of the business.

    As well as managing current marketing activities, my role is strategic and due to the variety of services and attractions that we offer to the public, it involves creating a long-term marketing plan to ensure Montalto Estate continues to develop as a leading tourist attraction.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I love walking through the estate on my own, with just the sights and sounds of nature surrounding me. It’s a great way to feel rejuvenated and relaxed, which is exactly what opening up Montalto for people to enjoy is all about. I’ve recently been to The Lost Garden and I’m very excited about what this area will look like by the time it’s ready for the public to visit.

    Away from work

    I enjoy walking my dog, meeting up with friends, and I love to travel; my fiancé and I spend a lot of time planning where our next destination will be.

  • Bernie Hyland

    Duty Manager

    Bernie Hyland

    Duty Manager

    My role

    I am responsible for the day to day running of the retail elements of the estate. In this role, you have to be a people person and I work with a great team of dedicated and enthusiastic individuals. We continually aim to ensure that a high level of customer service is maintained in the Café, Shop and at our ticket and information office. My role regularly changes from hour to hour, so I have to be adaptable to what is happening on the day.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    There are so many beautiful places; it’s hard to choose just one. I enjoy being on the estate first thing in the morning. It is so peaceful and I am continually noticing new aspects every day. Two of my favourite places on the estate are the Low Wood and the beautiful Montalto House.

    Away from work

    I love eating out and now, I can use work as an excuse that it is for market research! I also love getting outdoors and taking my dog Lady with me; she is a big fan of the estate too.

  • Carol Jennings

    Secretary
    Carol Jennings at Montalto Estate

    Carol Jennings

    Secretary

    My role

    As secretary, I am responsible for all reception duties, which helps to keep the day-to-day business ticking over. However, because I have been working for Gordon and June for many years, in a number of roles, I’m often called upon to carry out lots of other tasks, such as assisting with events and afternoon teas.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    The estate is a beautiful and incredibly picturesque place to work so even on the most stressful of days, just stepping out of the office and into the grounds can work wonders. I have had the pleasure of watching the estate change and develop over many years, and it’s a real honour to be able to work somewhere so beautiful and so full of history.

    Away from work

    As a mum to three teenagers, I don’t have a lot of free time for hobbies and interests. Aside from being a part-time chauffeur to my children, I do enjoy watching football, and I like to keep fit with the help of a personal trainer.

  • Keith J Reilly

    Operations Director
    Keith J Reilly at Montalto Estate

    Keith J Reilly

    Operations Director

    My role

    As Operations Director my daily duties are varied. I originally joined the company as Manager of The Carriage Rooms back in 2012. Since the decision was taken to open the estate, my role has changed to focus on preparing the business for this. Thus, my role includes overseeing events, HR, operations, marketing and a lot more besides. Working closely with David, my brother-in-law, is fundamental to ensuring the future success and smooth running of the estate.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    I first came to know of the estate when I was 16 and I met my future wife Rachael, Gordon and June’s daughter. Because of my familiarity with the estate, I could pick many areas, but the one that most stands out for me is Shackleton’s Wood. This relatively small wooded area is visible from my house, and a short walk takes myself and my family right up on to it. I love the formation of the trees, and the elevation of the area gives stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

    Away from work

    With four children between the ages of two and nine, most of my spare time is spent with family. I love running and have completed a number of marathons and ultra-marathons. I am on the Board of Governors for Spa PS, and coach Mini Rugby on Saturday mornings for Ballynahinch RFC.

  • David Wilson

    Managing Director

    David Wilson

    Managing Director

    My role

    As MD of Montalto, my role is a very strategic one, as we look to implement our ambitious plans which will see the estate enter the next stage of its life. However, as a chartered fellow accountant, the financial aspects of the business are at the core of my responsibilities. However, I do get out of the office now and then to give guided tours of the house.

    My favourite thing about Montalto

    Having grown up here, this was a difficult one for me for the simple reason that I have inherited my parents’ passion for the estate. However, if I had to choose one, it would be The Boat House, one of our more recent additions: this serene setting offers incredible views of the house and mirror-like reflections on the lake. If you ever feel the need to take some time for quiet reflection, this is the perfect place to do it.

    Away from work

    I have two children under the age of seven, so I like to devote all my free time to my family and days out with them.  Also, with such a close connection to Montalto, myself and my family love spending time on the estate grounds – an experience other families will be able be able to enjoy now too.

  • Gordon & June Wilson

    Owners of Montalto Estate
    Gordon and June at Montalto Estate

    Gordon & June Wilson

    Owners of Montalto Estate

    Our roles

    June and Gordon Wilson purchased the estate back in 1995 and lived in Montalto House right up until 2009.

    June is a true visionary who spends much of her time working with both our in-house team and various contractors, to bring to life her idea of a wonderfully unique 21st-century visitor attraction. Passionate and wholly dedicated to the estate, more than anything else she wants visitors to enjoy its past, delight in its present, and re-visit with family and friends time and again.

    Gordon is just as passionate about Montalto as his wife and regards ownership of this wonderful estate as both an honour and a privilege.  He very much enjoys his role working alongside June and is always willing to do whatever tasks need to be done, to facilitate staff and support June as work progresses on the estate.

    Our favourite thing about Montalto

    The second we set eyes on Montalto over 22 years ago, we both fell in love with it, and we continue to love it a little bit more every day. We both love the tranquillity of the estate and that feeling of being at one with nature. So, while our ‘favourite part’ changes almost every day, right now ‘The Lost Garden’ is where we’re discovering and uncovering lots of wonderful things that have been hidden away since the early part of the 20th century!

    Away from work

    We have been fortunate to be able to travel the world extensively but are both now very content to spend our time living and working on the estate, and developing it as a business that many of our family are involved in. However, with nine fabulous grandchildren all living nearby, there’s nothing we enjoy more than spending time with them

Vacancies & Volunteering

As an estate that consists of many beautiful trails and gardens, set amongst hundreds of acres of wonderful natural beauty, volunteering at Montalto Estate is a great experience for anyone with an interest in nature, gardening, horticulture, wildlife, heritage, or culture.

So, if you’re looking for a new experience helping us improve Montalto for the benefit of everyone, we would love to hear from you.

Find out more