About the board of trustees

The charitable mission of the Ramblers is defined by our legal constitution - the Memorandum and Articles.

The Ramblers is run by a board of trustees elected by delegates to our annual meeting of general council.

The trustees are all volunteers. They steer the charity and guarantee its long term health and strength. They appoint and oversee the chief executive, approve the business plan and agree the annual budget. The minutes of board meetings are available online so that members can see what the board is doing on their behalf.

The key role of the board is to determine the strategy for achieving our mission (subject to general council consultation and approval) and the oversight of the implementation of that strategy across our range of activities. This includes our values, ethics, image and communications.

The board delegates the running of the Ramblers to the chief executive as its chief officer. The chief executive enacts the mission of Ramblers through its volunteers and staff.

The full board focusses mainly on the strategy for delivering our charitable objectives. In addition there are two oversight committees who are responsible for the detailed oversight of the implementation of the mission and the enactment of the business plan.

Composition of the board of trustees

Composition of the board of trustees

  • chair (currently Des Garrahan)
  • vice chair (elected by fellow trustees) (currently Kate Ashbrook)
  • honorary treasurer (currently Alex Mannings)
  • a person appointed by each constituent part of Ramblers.

  • nine ordinary trustees elected at general council (each trustee normally serving three year terms - for a maximum of six consecutive years)
  • Up to two co-opted trustees (each serving a term to the next general council - for a maximum of three terms as a co-opted trustee)

Role of the board of trustees

  • Be legally and ultimately responsible for the Ramblers, providing security and continuity and ensuring delivery of the charitable objectives
  • Anticipate and plan for the future
  • Determine policy and strategy
  • Appoint and oversee the chief executive
  • Monitor performance so that the Ramblers meets its charitable objectives
  • Balance the different stakeholder interests (the public, members, volunteers, policy makers and funders are examples of our stakeholders)
  • Represent the Ramblers to internal and external stakeholders
  • Recruit and induct new board members to meet present and future requirements of the Ramblers
  • Ensure the board works efficiently (not too big, focused sub-committees, meeting its own collective or individual training needs etc.)
  • Determine its own agenda and priorities
  • Stand back from the day-to-day operations and know when to take a dispassionate view on critical issues like the mission, the objectives, the allocation of resources to meet future needs, the long-term financial security of the organisation, external influences of relevance
  • Have a commitment to promoting diversity within the Ramblers
  • Add value by providing insight, wisdom and judgement
  • Enjoy the process of running a Great Britain wide campaigning charity

The Charity Commission (the body which regulates charities like the Ramblers) produces a useful guide to the role and responsibilities of trustees, called The Essential Trustee. For more information visit www.charity-commission.gov.uk.

Role of the board's sub-committees

The board of trustees have two oversight committees who are responsible for the detailed oversight of the implementation of the mission and the enactment of the business plan.

The agenda, minutes, and papers from these sub-committee meetings are available to all trustees. Each sub-committee provides to the next board of trustees meeting a summary of the performance data supplied to them, a summary of key decisions made by the sub-committee and potential risks and recommendations on those matters to be determined by the board of trustees.

The mission sub-committee

The mission sub-committee is chaired by the vice-chair Kate Ashbrook and focusses on four areas - footpath protection, the right to roam, countryside protection and promoting walking. This includes improving people’s lives through walking and education.

The finance and operations sub-committee (FOSC)

The finance and operations sub-committee is chaired by the honorary treasurer, Alex Mannings.



Meet the Board of Trustees

Find out more about the Ramblers Board of Trustees and Senior Management Team.