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Ramblers’ vital volunteers

April 15, 2013

Well done Kate, on being re-elected RA president. This is the kind of campaigning zeal we like to see.


Today at the Ramblers’ general council I presented 12 ‘president’s awards’ to our volunteers for their fantastic achievements, on campaigning, paths and access, work in the countryside, recruitment, led walks, committee work, media and individual achievement.  I preceded the award ceremony with a few words to the assembled company.

Yesterday in the Guardian obituaries there was one about Richard Hutchins, author of the seminal book on the National Parks and Access to the Countryside Act 1949, pioneer of the access agreements in the Peak District National Park, and life member of the Ramblers.  He is a great symbol of the Ramblers’ proud past.

There are parallels today with 1949—the state of the economy and welfare, and social and economic divides.  Our predecessors fought their battles by being focused: they lobbied the government for national-parks legislation, they took ministers and MPs for walks on the Pennine Way to press for its designation…

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