Meet the Team - All of us
Laura Irving RVN
Laura first joined the practice in 2000, firstly as an apprentice, going onto college and successfully passing her nursing exams. She thoroughly enjoys being a veterinary nurse, with every day different. Laura has a keen interest in wound management and orthopaedics. Laura along with several other nurses run clinics on a daily basis and enjoy meeting new puppies and kittens, as well as helping clients with weight management of their pets.
Outside work, her hobbies include horse riding, walking the dog and helping on the family farm. Laura is the proud owner of a beagle called Phoebe, 2 cats, and several hens. Together with her husband, and two daughters, Laura runs a small flock of sheep.
Joanne Brown - Head Receptionist
Joanne joined Capontree straight from school, when the practice was still on Longtown Road, and after a spell both nursing and as a member of our support staff, is now our head receptionist, working primarily with our farm clients at Brampton.
Joanne has two children and is married to Peter, who farms locally.
David McCrea - Director BVM&S MRCVS
David qualified from Edinburgh University in 1998 having enjoyed 5 years of learning the science of being a vet. He has worked in Scotland, Australia and Northern Ireland and has gained a wide knowledge of farming and farm practices. David is a mixed veterinary surgeon however his main interest lies in farm animals.
David enjoys working closely with farmers trying to improve the health of their animals. He is a firm believer in the team approach to animal health and welfare; with farmer education and development an important role of the modern vet. David is a LANTRA-approved trainer which enables him to gain funding to run workshops and courses on behalf of XL Vets. He also keeps up to date with new information by reading veterinary publications and attending courses.
David enjoys the outdoor life - hill walking, gardening, attempting to keep fit and spending time with his wife, two young children and their many pets.
Joanne joined the practice straight from school in 1997 when the new purpose built building at Brampton opened. She began her work as a trainee veterinary nurse but later joined the administration team where she now continues her role. Joanne lives with her husband John and 2 daughters on the family farm in Northumberland. She has always had an interest in animals and their welfare. During her spare time, Joanne enjoys spending time with her family and friends and can often be heard from St James Park supporting her local football team…Newcastle United!!
Serena Wood RVN
Serena has been a Registered Veterinary Nurse for over 10 years. She joined Capontree Vets in June 2006 after doing her Veterinary Nurse training at a small animal practice in Carlisle. Previous to starting her training she worked as a nurse at a small animal practice in Blackburn.
Serena has a keen interest in small animal orthopaedics, physiotherapy and rehabilitation and also weight management clinics. She completed a Veterinary Nurse Merit Award in Physiotherapy and Rehabilitation in August 2013.
Away from work Serena plays solo cornet with Langholm Town Band and enjoys playing with them at local events and various competitions throughout the borders and Scotland. She also keeps herself active by training for varying length runs, regularly participating in 5km parkruns and various routes through woodland and up hills in and around her home town of Langholm.
Kevin Beattie - Director BVMS CertCHP MRCVS
After a short spell helping MAFF in Dumfries with the tragic Foot and Mouth Outbreak, Kevin joined Capontree Vets in 2001.
Initially Kevin was involved in all sectors of the practice, working at Haltwhistle surgery and on the road on farms and stables in the Brampton area.
Kevin comes from a dairy and beef suckler farming background, and has a real passion for cows and productive cattle farming. He opted to study for further qualifications in this area. By 2005 Kevin had been awarded by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons a “Certificate in Cattle Health and Production”.
Kevin generally can be found out and about doing routine farm work but also gets a lot of enjoyment from doing companion animal emergency work where many will have met him.
In 2006 when Esk Vets in Longtown merged with Capontree Vets, Kevin became a Director of Capontree and has been based at Longtown as Senior Clinician since then.
When not at work Kevin spends time at the family farm back in Lockerbie where he now has a small suckler herd of his own and with his wife and three kids they have recently set up a small calf rearing unit at his smallholding near Longtown. He can be seen there at weekends with his wife, children, calves, ponies, Jack Russell dog, two cats and now 12 sheep as well.
Fiona Allan RVN
**Fiona is currently on maternity leave after the safe arrival of her first child - congratulations!**
Fiona’s previous job involved caring for animals at Walby farm park, and from there she came to Capontree Vets in 2009 and after 12 months she embarked on a 3 year course to become a registered veterinary nurse which she successfully completed in 2013. At work Fiona is heavily involved in the running of the Capontree Platinum Health Club, and really enjoys nursing surgical cases and wound management.
Fiona has a passion for fitness, especially running and the gym. She has successfully completed events such as Total Warrior (2014, 2015, 2016) and the Cumbrian Run (2015). Fiona’s other hobbies include travelling the world (Iceland, USA, Tanzania, Thailand), reading, films and walking her Labradors Rhogan and Thea.
Val joined the practice in 2004 and can be found working on reception at both our Brampton and Haltwhistle branches.
Together with her husband, Val, farms a beef and sheep farm, near Brampton.
Dan Lewis - Director BVSc Cert AVP MRCVS
Dan graduated from Bristol University in 2000. After 2 years in mixed practice he joined the PDSA where he worked until 2008.
Prior to joining us at Capontree, Dan worked in the Midlands in the small animal section of a busy mixed practice. He joined us in September 2010 and is one of our dedicated small animal vets, bringing experience in all areas of small animal practice and a particular interest in surgery, especially orthopaedics. Dan has taken this surgical interest to the next professional level available, successfully completing his Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in November 2014; the product of over 300 hours of study! He joined our board of Directors in April 2016.
Away from work Dan enjoys spending time in the mountains and has developed a keen interest in trail & fell running. In July 2016 & 2018 he completed the Lakeland 50, a race around the fells of the Lake District where runners must complete a 50 mile course in less than 24 hours. In November 2018 he took this one step further completing the 80 miles of the Yorkshire Wolds Way from Hull to Filey in just under 24 hours.
Margaret joined the practice in 2009 after moving with her husband and son to farm in Bewcastle.
Brought up on a farm in Lanarkshire, Margaret married Neil and moving to a hill farm on the West Lothian and Lanarkshire border where they raised their son and daughter.
She plays an active role on the farm and enjoys time spent walking her 2 dogs JC and TK.
Margaret has many hobbies including baking and crafts, and competing at local shows.
Since moving to the area has taken up social/ceilidh dancing and enjoys meeting up in the local village hall at weekends.
Sarah Bulman RVN
Sarah started working at Capontree Vets in 2010 after completing a diploma in animal management at Newton Rigg. She qualified as a registered veterinary nurse in 2014. She gained her qualification from Newcastle College.
Sarah lives in Dalston and has been a member of Raughton Head Young Farmers since 2003, she enjoys entering competitions and making new friends.
Her other hobbies include walking her dogs around the Dalston area, Allonby Beach, Talkin Tarn and in the Lake District. Sarah enjoys going to the gym and attending body combat lessons. Another much appreciated hobby is baking, with Sarah competing in local shows and often bringing in baking for the rest of the staff to sample.
At work she is especially interested in working with medical cases and conducting nurse clinics.
Brian Mundell - Director BVM&S MRCVS
Brian joined Capontree after graduating from Edinburgh in 2012, Brian settled in well, joining a local rugby team, continuing a life long association with the sport. As well as rugby, Brian is a keen and highly skilled sheep shearer – a skill he developed on the family farm, Brian has even won trophies for his shearing at events including the Highland Show.
Brian took a 7-month working holiday (veterinary work and shearing) in New Zealand, where he learnt a huge amount about different approaches to veterinary care. He works in all sectors of the practice though he has a special interest in large animal work.
He is currently working towards a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice with an emphysis on Sheep Production.
Brian became a Director in Capontree in June 2018
Lindsay Rae RVN
After leaving school in the summer of 2014, Lindsey began working at Capontree in November that year as a Trainee Veterinary Nurse. Since learning the ropes from the team, she now works between both the Brampton and Longtown surgeries, and takes a share of the on call nursing rota. Lindsey completed her training and became a fully qualified and Registered Veterinary Nurse in 2018.
Outside of work Lindsey is a keen horse rider, she has a horse, Katie who Lindsay likes to hack across the Langholm countryside and is a regular at the Border Common Ridings. Being from Langholm, typically she enjoys rugby, playing for her school team side whilst a pupil. She has now turned to more of a supporter, following both local teams and Scotland whenever possible. Other spare time is spent socialising with friends and hill walking around Langholm.
Megan joined the Capontree Vets team in February 2010. Initially a part time member of our reception staff, she has continued to increase the hours which she works. Megan divides her time between both Brampton and our Haltwhistle branch, where she can be found greeting our small animal client’s on reception. Megan is also involved in the running of our popular Capontree Platinum Health Club along with Fiona.
Megan, who lives in Haltwhistle, spends a lot of her spare time walking along with her dog, Lola, a Labrador well known to many local dog owners as she likes to say hello to everyone they meet along the way!
At the weekends, Megan enjoys catching up with friends and family. She also enjoys taking holidays abroad seeking the sunshine and a taste of different cultures; having sampled Africa she is now looking to visit parts of Asia.
Andy Reid - Senior Associate BMVS MRCVS
Andy was brought up on the family dairy farm in Ayrshire. He first came to Capontree as a student in 1998, graduating from Glasgow in 2000. He then joined a mixed practice in Dumfriesshire for a couple of years before the travel bug bite him, leading to 2 years working in a variety of locations in the UK and Australia as well as traveling in Africa and south east Asia.
Andy joined Capontree in a very mixed role in 2004 and has over time developed interests in a wide range of topics – from fertility issues to acupuncture and therapeutic laser treatment. Over time his role has moved from a mixed position to a predominantly small animal role.
Andy has an ever expanding collection of pets, which his wife and 4 children try to add to, from time to time!
He is currently working towards a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice with a Small Animal Medicine bias
Ruth Armstrong RVN
Ruth joined us in July 2015 after completing her A-Levels at William Howard School. She then completed a Business Administration course before going on to complete her veterinary nursing qualification at Newcastle in late 2018 making her our most recent Registered Veterinary Nurse.
Ruth is to be found at all three of our sites, and she enjoys running weight clinics and puppy checks.
Ruth enjoys spending time with family, friends and her animals; she enjoys taking her dog on walks in the countryside. As well as this Ruth is an active member of Walton Young Farmers and participates in many of the their competitions and social events.
Sarah Baxter Bsc
Sarah joined us at the beginning of April 2016. Sarah studied Animal Science for 3 years at Nottingham University and has experience of interpersonal relations in a wide variety of areas.
Away from work Sarah enjoys watching Carlisle United, prize-winning baking (always welcome at tea breaks!) and running.
Mark Hayton BVM&S MRCVS
Mark graduated in from the Dick Vet in Edinburgh in 2010 (with Distinction). He started at Capontree Vets the following month and has been here ever since. Having been brought up near Cockermouth, home and the beautiful Lake District are only about an hour away.
Mainly working at our Longtown branch, he has a truly mixed role, with time split equally between work in the surgery with small animals and time spent out and about treating cows, sheep, horses and goats.
In his spare time he enjoys walking the fells with his 2 border terriers, helping out on the farm at home, watching rugby, and has recently been renovating a house.
Sarah joined our reception team in 2018 and will be seen mainly at Brampton and Haltwhistle surgeries.
Sarah is an avid animal lover; when she isn’t working she is busy volunteering for a dog rescue charity.
Katie Hayton BVM&S MRCVS
Katie is currently on maternity leave looking after William and Archie.
Katie was brought up on a farm in the Scottish Borders and graduated from Edinburgh University in July 2008. She subsequently began her career in mixed practice in Berwickshire and then spent 6 months travelling around New Zealand before returning to the UK to locum up and down the country; from Wiltshire to the Isle of Lewis!
Katie joined Capontree in March 2012. She mainly works out of our Brampton branch and consults at Haltwhistle too. Her main interests are small animal surgery and equine medicine.
In her spare time Katie enjoys cooking, baking and preserving, gardening and walking her Border Terriers Bramble & Thistle. She has also recently started riding again after a long break.