Meet the Team - Small Animal Vets


Gerard Winnard BVetMed CertVC MRCVS

Gerard Winnard

Gerard qualified from the Royal College, London in 1991. He worked in Herefordshire and Wiltshire before a brief spell working in New Zealand. He joined the practice in 1999, becoming a director in 2002. His main responsibilities are on the small animal side of the practice. Gerard gained his Certificate in Cardiology in 1998 and runs Lakes Cardiology services with Chris Fellows, another cardiologist, providing a referral service for other veterinary practices in the North West of England. Gerard is married with three children and has a labrador called Fern. In his spare time he enjoys walking and cycling.


Ben McDonnell BVSc BSc MRCVS

Ben McDonnell

After graduating from the University of Liverpool in 2008 Ben immediately returned home to his roots in Cumbria. He spent 3 years working as a mixed practitioner in Broughton in Furness before moving to Ulverston to concentrate on small animals. Over the following 2 years Ben developed a keen interest in all aspects of small animal practice, in particular surgery, enrolling on a Certificate in Advanced Veterinary Practice in 2012. Ben joined the team at Westmorland in October of 2014. In his spare time Ben can be found either mountain biking with a local club or hill walking with his dog Abbie and his partner Miranda. Ben really enjoys working at Westmorland as part of the team and makes the most of his collegues depth of experience.


Mary Crackles BVM&S MRCVS

Mary Crackles

Mary qualified from Edinburgh in 1986. She moved to Kirkby Lonsdale for 6 months in 1988, met a farmer and has never left! Mary works as part of the small animal team at Kendal where she has a particular interest in feline medicine. Outside of work she is a very keen cyclist and enjoys gardening and helping her husband on the farm with the cows and lambing. At home she has a Labrador called Ellie and 2 rabbits, Foy and Norris. Mary loves the fact that there are now 3 female Scottish vets in the practice - slowly taking over!


Paul Hibbin BVMS CertSAO MRCVS

Paul Hibbin

Paul qualified in 1980. He has seen much change in general practice over the last 30 years, with rapid advances in medicine and surgery. He has worked in several mixed practices and has developed a particular interest in small animal surgery, specifically orthopaedics in which he has gained the RCVS Certificate in Small Animal Orthopaedics. Outside of work he enjoys hill walking, scrambling and has had a lifelong interest in butterflies, hence he can often be found wandering around Whitbarrow on summer evenings.


Rebecca Wiper BVetMed MRCVS

Rebecca Wiper

Rebecca graduated from London in 2006. Eager to return to her roots near Kirkby Lonsdale she started her working life at a mixed practice in Carnforth. In January 2013 she started working with Westmorland Vets, enabling her to pursue her interest in Small Animal Practice. She currently works part time, mainly at the Kendal branch. In her free time she is a keen fell walker and will be frequently found out and about with her collie in tow (or the other way round!). She also enjoys running, skiing, reading and more recently knitting.



Judith Lee

Judith qualified from Glasgow Vet School in 1986. She was tempted across the border by the scenery and abundance of dairy cows and started work in Kendal in 1989. She gained her Diploma in Bovine Reproduction in 1994. After a seven year sojourn at a practice in Lancashire she rejoined the Westmorland flock in 2003, working from Kirkby Lonsdale with involvement in both large and small animal work. Outside work she is kept busy by her husband (a dairy farmer), her 2 children, her dogs and now (to her surprise) by her prize winning Hampshire down sheep!



Chris Beck

Chris originates from the lakes, and lived locally until heading off to Glasgow to study veterinary medicine, from where he graduated in 2013. He then spent six months travelling, exploring the east coast of Australia, to get the travel itch out of his system.

He returned to the UK and reality when he started working for a mixed practice over north of Newcastle, where he decided that his interest mainly lies in the small animal side of veterinary practice.

Despite the stunning beaches and (slightly!) drier climate, the lure of the Lake District brought Chris back home, where he has taken up a part-time post in the Westmorland small animal team.

When he’s not at work, Chris enjoys cycling, swimming and playing squash, and his hobbies include fish-keeping and flying model aircraft, or otherwise you may find him out exploring the fells whilst trying in vain to train his young Labrador, Oscar.


Flora Belshaw BVet Med MRCVS

Flora Belshaw

Flora started working for us in September 2017. She graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in London in July 2017. She first started seeing practice at Westmorland when she was 12 years old, and completed a number of clinical placements with us whilst at vet school, so she was already a familiar face around the practice. She has a keen interest in all aspects of small animal practice, though she particularly enjoys the surgical side of things. Outside of work, she enjoys horse riding and playing hockey. She also has a puppy Merry.


Rebecca Barr BVMS MRCVS

Rebecca Barr

Becca graduated in 2013 from the University of Glasgow. She spent two and half years in a small animal practice in County Durham before returning to Scotland to work at the Scottish SPCA Vet Clinic for a year. Since then she has been working as a locum vet at several practices across the country (including at Westmorland!) whilst completing her Masters at the University of Lincoln in Clinical Animal Behaviour. Along side her work as a small animal vet, she also runs her own business - Red Lakes: Veterinary Behaviour Services - and sees behaviour referrals from across the north of England. She recently joined the Canine Arthritis Management team as their behaviour adviser which allows her to combine her interests in behaviour and chronic pain management. She is owned by 2 Collies, a Labrador and 2 moggies, and enjoys exploring the countryside with them in her spare time.