05 June 2019 by Ed Wilson
Volunteers Week is all about saying thank you and recognising the huge contribution that volunteers make to society. From reading with children in schools, getting people out and active, helping people in urgent medical need to raising money for good causes. I personally believe that volunteering is woven into the fabric of society, and always has been.
The Ramblers is of course no different, and without the thousands of people who lead walks, fix paths, campaign for better access and active travel, we couldn’t have the impact that we do. This is summed up by those who receive a Ramblers Volunteer Award, in recognition of what they have done to make sure the Ramblers can continue to get people out walking and enjoy the experience in the places they love.
I was privileged to be able to present a Ramblers Volunteer Award to Brian Micklam, from West Wiltshire. Not only did we go for a walk with many members of the group, but we also had a chance to celebrate Brian’s achievement and present him with his award.
Brian has been footpath secretary for the West Wilts Ramblers since 2011. During his time in this role he has worked enthusiastically, tenaciously and creatively to protect and improve our local Rights of Way. He is regularly involved in several projects, working with Rights of Way Officers, Community Area Boards, the Canal and Rivers Trust, Parish Councils, landowners, Wessex Water Board. He has supported local initiatives involved in protecting and reinstating local footpaths, attends Ramblers’ Liaison meetings, organised way marking and assisted the Council.
Many requests for help and advice on footpath issues come his way from the public too, because he is known as a person who cares and gets things done. With Brian’s valuable support, two local action groups successfully campaigned for popular paths to be registered on the Definitive Map, meaning everyone can now enjoy them. As well as this work, Brian is also a stalwart member of our Footpath Working Party, which meets every Tuesday clearing and maintaining paths, erecting kissing gates, repairing bridges, paths.
As we walked through the Wiltshire countryside and discussed many of Brian’s successes it was not hard to be inspired. However, as Brian, and many other recipients would say, their award is a way of recognising what everyone has done for all walkers.
Find out about all of the 2019 Ramblers' Volunteer Award winners and their contribution to make the Ramblers what it is.
Recognise one of your local walking heroes.