Malcolm McDonnell

Malcolm McDonnell
A Ramblers member since 1987, I started volunteering as East Sussex Footpath Secretary in 2001 despite never having been on a Ramblers group led walk. I am proud to be one of a dedicated team of volunteers and Ramblers staff who help protect the paths in Sussex.

Footpath Secretary | Sussex Ramblers

I have been a Ramblers member for many years, and also chairman of a parish council sub-committee that helps look after 48 miles of paths in Withyham, where I live. This was my only experience of footpath work until I became a Ramblers volunteer after the Ramblers helped me to claim an obstructed footpath near my home. Sussex Ramblers needed an Area Footpath Secretary for East Sussex and I was happy to step into the post.

Being Area Footpath Secretary is a rewarding job, campaigning for better paths, liaising with anyone from farmers to county councillors, attending occasional public inquiries, and administering to 50 local Ramblers Footpath Secretaries. However, I am not retired or unemployed. As well as my footpath work I am a self-employed plumber, and I still find time for cycling and motorcycling and even holidays, so being an active Ramblers volunteer is not too time-consuming.

As my experience and knowledge has increased I have found myself presenting a motion at General Council, setting up training days and providing practical experience for Ramblers office staff who are learning footpath work. The sheer variety of work and the different people I encounter has made volunteering for Ramblers one of the better things I have done in my life.

Malcolm McDonnell.
Footpath Secretary, Sussex Ramblers

Feeling inspired?

Find out how you can get involved by volunteering with us.