Ramblers Scotland Strategic Committee

Malcolm Dingwall-Smith, convener

Mal is the Strategic Partnerships Manager at sportscotland, the national agency for sport in Scotland. He leads the organisations government, political and public policy engagement. He is the Convener of the Ramblers Scotland Strategic Committee and sits on the Board of Trustees. Mal has supported member Governments around the Commonwealth to use sport and physical activity as a tool to deliver social outcomes. He is an advocate for getting people walking in the outdoors and recognises the importance of building and maintaining an infrastructure to enable access to our wild environments.


Beth Dickson, vice convener

Beth’s background is in Human Resources and Employment Law in the public sector. She has worked in Health, Local Government and Education, as well as in a Scottish Government Education Policy Division. Beth has extensive experience of working on strategic management and leadership and in policy development, as well as chairing committees in the sectors in which she worked. Beth is an avid walker and regularly walks with her local group. She has various committee roles within her area and group.


Mike Gray, treasurer

Apart from walking with his local group, Mike’s twenty-five years + association with the Ramblers has been liberally dotted with active volunteering of various sorts. From leading walks to Chairing his local Group, undertaking footpath repair work, sitting on Local Access Forums, being Area treasurer and representing his Area at both Scottish and GB National Councils he has a good insight into the workings of the organisation at all levels. Mike successfully ran a small business for many years involving general, technical, personnel and financial management. He has several volunteering roles for charities in his local community. Mike has many transferable skills that he brings to his role as treasurer for RSSC.


Andrew Bachell, ordinary member

Prior to retirement in 2019, Andrew 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 he had direct responsibility for operations and policy matters on access, site designation, species policies and land use management. Among the most satisfying areas Andrew 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. He has extensive knowledge of Scotland’s access rights, conversation framework and the workings of Scottish Government and its agencies.


Mike Dales, ordinary member

Mike is a freelance consultant, currently developing an online training module in Scottish access rights for the Scottish Outdoor Access Network (SOAN). He has written and published a book, Find Time for Exercise, about the benefits of regular exercise. He would like to see a renewed push from Ramblers Scotland to raise the profile of access rights and to push hard for greater levels of commitment to the ongoing delivery and management of infrastructure, education and enforcement surrounding access rights.


Jarka Polednova, ordinary member

Jarka is a New Scot from the Czech Republic. She has a young family and has enjoyed the benefits of walking from a young age. Jarka is an advocate for the health benefits of walking and being outdoors and she gets to demonstrate her enthusiasm for this in her role as a care-giver. She has various volunteering roles within her local group. Jarka has an interest in the strategic direction of the Ramblers and enjoys representing its members.


Karl-Erik Wilson, ordinary member

In his work life Karl is a GIS Lead for an offshore windfarm developer, which sees him focused on building IT infrastructure for managing spatial data and maps. He is a keen hillwalker and, having spent 15 years completing the Munros as well as progressing through his Corbett round, he has benefitted greatly from the hard-won access rights in Scotland. Karl recognises that Ramblers faces challenges to remain relevant to young people so that the fight to protect and grow those rights can be carried on into the future. He has various volunteering roles within his local group. 


Sue Thomas, ordinary member

Sue believes 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. She is committed to action for a better future, environmental justice, and an expectation of diversity and inclusion.  Before she retired, Sue taught design full time, researching and advocating for ethics and sustainability both here and in Australasia. She served in the Senate at Heriot-Watt University and has been a representative on four university human research ethics committees. Sue has several volunteering roles.


Jacqui Thomson, ordinary member

Jacqui brings a wealth of knowledge on strategic design and application across corporate and charity sectors. She is heavily involved in her local group from walk leadership, designing the walks programme to committee work. Jacqui is keen to support the Ramblers objectives in Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and to develop ideas for addressing the barriers faced in getting outdoors. She has filmed several promotional videos in support of Introductory Walks and Walk Leadership.



Terry Robinson, ordinary member

Born virtually blind in 1950, Terry has always been interested in the outdoors and walking in particular. He graduated in Electronics in 1973, then progressed through Software and Quality Engineering until becoming self employed as an information provider. He retired in 2017 and is still wondering how he found time to work! Throughout the years, he has been privileged to undertake some exciting walking adventures: a solo tour of Sri Lanka in 1986, climbing Gunung Tahan, Peninsula Malaysia in 1988, Kilimanjaro in 1994 and Everest Base Camp in 2011.

Terry is a member of Glasgow Ramblers and proud to be elected to the North Strathclyde Area Committee and the RSSC. He’ll be a strong advocate for the inclusion of vision impaired people in particular and underrepresented groups in general.