I joined the Ramblers nearly 40 years ago when a group was formed in my home city of Aberdeen and I have been supporting the Ramblers ever since. I have undertaken roles in the Aberdeen group and Grampian area committees. I’m a walk leader and have a good knowledge of the Scottish countryside and environment. My knowledge of the organisation has grown having served on the Scottish Council Executive Committee (SCEC) now the Ramblers Scotland Strategic Committee (RSSC) as a committee member, vice convener and convener. From 2000-2010 I served as a Ramblers GB trustee and also had two spells on the Board of Trustees ex officio as Scottish Council convener. For the last 30 years I have been involved in organising volunteers for the annual Scottish Ramblers Gathering. From 2009-2017, I was treasurer of the European Ramblers Association, with this role on its Presidium I gained a broad knowledge of walking in many countries across Europe. My working life was spent in BT, WRVS and the NHS in Scotland in personnel, training and financial management roles and most recently in volunteer support and management.
I have been a member of the Kirkcaldy Group of Ramblers Scotland since 2013 but have only really been walking regularly with our Group since 2016 when I retired from work. Since 2018, I have been Chair of the Group as well as Web Editor. My background is in Human Resources and Employment Law in the public sector and I have worked in Health, Local Government and Education, as well as in a Scottish Government Education Policy Division. I have extensive experience of working on strategic management and leadership and in policy development, as well as chairing committees in the sectors in which I have worked. This has involved working with people of all backgrounds and with trades unions and politicians and I believe that I am good at forming effective relationships and getting the best out of the people I deal with.
I'm a keen Rambler, having previously served as a committee member for Edinburgh Young Walkers for nine years and help provide Walk Leader training for the Ramblers. I work in IT and have delivered large change projects within multinationals and local charities, created the successful Edinburgh Young Walkers website which acts like a social network, allowing members to post walks, sign up to events and communicate easily. It’s an exciting time for the Ramblers with their new IT developments and I feel I can bring a lot of knowledge and experience relating to this to RSSC. I’m also keen to make the outdoors more accessible to everyone and would love to get more involved delivering this vision.
This is a thrilling time for the environment, its current and future inhabitants. Because of the lessons learnt from Covid regarding our interdependence with the environment and the privilege it brings to us and other species, we can really move forward. Professionally and via volunteering, I have worked with students 18-25 for many years. I share their commitment to action for a better future, environmental justice, and an expectation of diversity and inclusion. Scotland, mainland and islands, is a unique treasure and a privilege we can share more broadly and diversely. I have lived in the Borders for six years and walk with Eildon Ramblers, recently serving as their publicity officer. Previously, I taught design full time, researching and advocating for ethics and sustainability both here and in Australasia. From academia I bring committee experience; having served in the Senate at Heriot-Watt University and been a representative on four university human research ethics committees. Previously in Australia, and now in Scotland, I volunteer in the justice system, working for human rights.
I’m a keen hillwalker and have explored much of Scotland and beyond. I like to see stone circles, Pictish stones, historical sites and settlements. I have a background in PR, media and marketing. I do publicity for Dundee Ramblers and gained great cooperation from another Ramblers group for our public Facebook page which was very useful. I’m interested in encouraging physicians to encourage to “prescribe” walking with the Ramblers and also to enable and encourage under-represented groups to join us. I’m the access officer for Dundee Ramblers and I’m on Dundee Access Forum. I welcome the opportunity to help shape the strategic direction of Ramblers Scotland with an eye to communicating our message that Ramblers have something beneficial to offer people from all backgrounds.
Current Secretary for Edinburgh Young Walkers, I am passionate about making the outdoors and hiking accessible for all. As our membership continues to increase, I’m especially keen to work in partnership with Ramblers towards common objectives and better understand the difference EYW can make. Finally climbing my first Munro in 2020 after many years spent treading the watery flats, I’m particularly interested in the unconventional paths into hiking and representing those who may be new to walking. In terms of professional background, I work for the Open University in Scotland supporting students with complex needs; our mission statement “open to people, places and ideas” I think ties nicely into the RSSC's vision and direction for the future of Ramblers. I also volunteer on a regular basis for a mental health charity and am particularly interested in the new ‘Health Walks’ initiative with Paths for All.
Apart from walking with my local group, my twenty-five years association with the Ramblers has been liberally dotted with active volunteering of various sorts. From leading walks to Chairing my local Group, undertaking footpath repair work, sitting on Local Access Forums, being Area treasurer and representing my Area at both Scottish and GB National Councils I feel I have a good insight into the workings of the organisation at all levels. I successfully ran a small business for many years involving general, technical, personnel and financial management. I have held volunteer roles with the John Muir Trust, as well as numerous local charities in my community, giving skills and experience that I hope transfer usefully to RSSC.
Martha Mattos Coelho
I have experience of organising and leading the sub-group Edinburgh Family Walks and I am also active in Edinburgh Young Walkers, Edinburgh Ramblers and the Lothian Area. I have used digital platforms including Meetup and Facebook to good effect in organising and promoting the subgroup before family circumstances led me to stepping down. Prior to moving to Edinburgh and becoming a very proud new Scot, I was a very active walk leader in Portugal. Professionally I work as a trust administrator and my knowledge of how trust funding works may prove useful in my role on the RSSC. I am active politically and I am currently standing for Edinburgh Council and likely to be elected given the historic voting patterns in the ward concerned.
I joined the Ramblers fifteen years ago via a group which was growing, soon to become one of the biggest and most successful groups in Scotland. I started on the committee as its publicity officer and later served as chairman, editor of the group's quarterly professionally produced programme, organiser of group's walking 'projects' both in the UK and abroad and in other roles. I attended Area meetings and Council AGMs. As a keen hillwalker I planned, reccied and led numerous Ramblers walks at all levels both in Scotland and beyond. My background is in engineering and science, including management, both industrial and academic. Natural environment is one of my interests.
The Ramblers continue to face challenges, namely now, after these years of the pandemic and entering the second half of its 10-year Vision and Strategic Framework. The Vision had been conceived in an environment which has developed since then and Ramblers, including Ramblers Scotland, have to adapt concerning their charitable aims, campaigns and internal structures. Ramblers have to select their activities carefully, pursue them efficiently and ensure that they reflected views of all of its membership. I wish to assist in strengthening the link between the grass-root membership and the continuing development of the strategic aims of Ramblers Scotland.
I am a Scottish Government solicitor specialising in rights-based areas including homelessness, housing, immigration, human rights and equalities. I graduated from the University of Edinburgh Law School. I have a strong interest in walking in Scotland and further afield, with my young family. I am new to the Ramblers and look forward to transferring my skills and experience to my strategic role on the RSSC.
Prior to retirement in 2019, I served at Director level or above with Scottish Natural Heritage, The Woodland Trust, The National Trust for Scotland and the John Muir Trust. In these roles I had direct responsibility for operations and policy matters on access, site designation, species policies and land use management. I was appointed as an Honorary Fellow of Scottish Environment LINK in 2019. Among the most satisfying areas I was involved in was as lead Director in SNH on land reform and access during the passage of the primary legislation, the preparation of the Outdoor Access Code and the role out of support to Access Authorities. This was ground-breaking legislation, creating access provisions for people from all parts of Scotland and all communities, allowing everyone to enjoy their surroundings. However, the benefits of that work have not all been realised, and in places some are under threat.
Ramblers Scotland is at the forefront of the continuing effort to secure Scotland’s place as the most welcoming country for recreational users of open land and paths and in the promotion of the health and other benefits that access can provide. It was for these reasons that I joined the Ramblers and have taken an active interest in campaigns and other work. As a regular walker I know of the many benefits and some of the barriers to good access. I would like to use my knowledge of Scotland’s access rights, conversation framework and the workings of Scottish Government and its agencies to help RSSC forward their objectives.