With a passion for gardening, fishing and the outdoors, Jeff Pinder and Janet Hemstock found Gateforth Park ticked all their boxes when they were looking to downsize for their retirement.

They bought one of the larger Lakeside properties with a spacious garden leading down to a private fishing peg at the end. It’s here that they spend many of their days, pottering and tending to their plants, or looking out across the water from their own tranquil angling spot.

resident of a park home fishing from their private garden

Jeff enjoys a spot of fishing from the exclusive peg in his garden

Jeff, 77, and Janet, in her late 60s, are truly making the most of the lifestyle that Gateforth Park offers. They enjoy long walks with their cockapoo, Ted, in the surrounding countryside as well as the woodland both on the park and at the neighbouring Selby Golf Course. They often follow their walk with a drink and a bite to eat in one of the village pubs. They like the fact that there are a few local pubs within walking distance of their home, with their favourite being The Wheatsheaf Inn at Burn.

Lovely garden and views

Owning one of the larger properties on the site has given them the space to pursue their interests at home, too. Janet is learning the piano and has her own piano room, while they are both avid readers and love sitting out on their balcony with a book in hand.

“It’s lovely. We wouldn’t have moved here if this kind of home hadn’t been available,” said Jeff.

“The garden is a fairly good size, and we spend quite a lot of time there. When you look at some of the other parks, the homes and gardens are very regimented like army barracks, and this layout in Gateforth is a little bit different.

“It’s nice and quiet, and we’ve got a lovely aspect on the morning to look out on. The whole front of the house is all glass and we like observing through our telescope the birds that are beginning to find their way here now.”


As former owners of a successful horticultural nursery specialising in hostas, Jeff and Janet are not just keen gardeners but award-winners too. They previously lived in a large detached home in an East Yorkshire village, which had about two acres of garden, from where they ran their business. They showcased and sold their hostas, some of which were unique to them, at shows like Chelsea and Hampton court, where they won lots of awards.

But once the business was sold in 2017, there was no longer the need for such a large garden and property.

Jeff said: “One of the main reasons for moving was to downsize, and we wanted to do it while we were fit enough. We’d considered moving to a residential park, came to Gateforth on a first visit, and made our mind up.”

Their new garden includes around 70 acer trees and five hostas out of the 7,000 that were at the nursery in their previous home. Jeff is a very keen bonsai enthusiast and there are also a variety of bonsais dotted inside and outside their home.

resident of a park home fishing from the private garden

Ideal location

The location of Gateforth Park is ideal for them, too. With Janet’s children just over an hour’s drive away and Jeff’s in London, the excellent transport connections make it easy for them to visit their children and grandchildren.

It also allows them to explore the attractions of North Yorkshire and the wider Yorkshire area. They’ve already discovered many new places, along with several garden centres and some great places to fish.

“You can get on to the motorway so quickly, which is one of the best benefits of living here,” said Jeff.

Another aspect of Gateforth Park that appealed to them was the flexibility it offers to pursue their love of travel. As keen caravanners and with a decade-long routine of spending the UK’s winter months in Spain, Jeff and Janet like the peace of mind that Gateforth offers. Living on a managed and gated residential park, the couple are reassured that their home will be secure while they are away. They are also able to keep their caravan in the on-site caravan and motorhome storage area when not in use.

Like being on holiday

Jeff and Janet moved to Gateforth Park at the end of May last year and immediately got to work on their garden.

Janet said: “We spent a lot of time watering the grass and trying to get everything established, and now this year it all looks wonderful.”

The couple say they have “no regrets at all” about moving to Gateforth Park and are enjoying seeing it develop. They have got to know some of the other residents and Ted loves meeting all the other dogs on the site.

“It was an absolutely good move,” says Jeff.

“Our families were a bit shocked that we were moving into ‘a caravan’ but they were very, very surprised when they came to visit at how different it was to what they expected, and how lovely and very light it is. It keeps very warm and costs a lot less to run than our old 1930s detached house.

“It just suits us. We are doing all the stuff that we enjoy; it’s like being on holiday constantly. When we return from Spain, coming back to Gateforth Park feels like we’re going on holiday.”

Looking for the perfect outdoor lifestyle in retirement? Call Helen, Dawn or Carol on 01757 616 646 to find out more about our homes and park.