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 council members at the 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 which are responsible for the detailed oversight of the implementation of the mission and the enactment of the business plan.

Members of the board of trustees

  • Chair
  • Vice chair (elected by fellow trustees) 
  • Honorary treasurer 
  • A person appointed by each constituent part of Ramblers (Scotland and Wales)

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

Kate Ashbrook
Michael Penny Honorary treasurer
Dr Peter Rookes
Vice Chair
Jonathan Bergwerk Ordinary member
Thelma Brown
Ordinary member
Sophie Clissold-Lesser
Ordinary member
Rebecca Dawson
Ordinary member
Ronnie Forbes Ordinary member
Chris Hodgson Chair, Ramblers Cymru
Aynsley Jardin Co-opted member
Malcolm McDonnell
Ordinary member
Alison Mitchell Ramblers Scotland appointee
Richard May
Ordinary member
Paul Rhodes Ordinary member

Meet the trustees and senior management team.

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 in England and Wales) produces a useful guide to the role and responsibilities of trustees, called The Essential Trustee. For more information visit www.charity-commission.gov.uk.

Finance and operations sub-committee

The board of trustees has a  finance and operations sub-committee,  chaired by the honorary treasurer. The agenda, minutes, and papers from its meetings are available to all trustees. 


Meet the Board of Trustees

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