Tom Franklin, chief executive for four years

Tom Franklin, chief executive for four years

The head of Britain’s biggest walking campaign group is leaving the charity.

The Ramblers’ chief executive Tom Franklin will step down from his role at the end of the year.

Mr Franklin has been appointed chief of Think Global, an education charity aimed at promoting knowledge of sustainability, climate change and world poverty.

The Ramblers said today he will continue in his roles as a transitional trustee of the New Waterways Charity and on the Independent Forestry Panel, which was set up by the coalition Government following the uproar over planned sell-offs of nationalised forestry in England.

The 42-year-old has been Ramblers’ chief executive since September 2007, overseeing the rebranding of the charity from the Ramblers’ Association and the controversial cutting of staff, particularly in the Scottish and Welsh offices, during a time of reduced revenues.

Mr Franklin said: said: “It has been an honour to work for the Ramblers over the past four years. It is a great British institution, protecting our network of footpaths, and introducing many thousands of people to the pleasures of walking, and with almost all its work being undertaken by volunteers.

“These are not easy times for any charity, but the work of the Ramblers is as vital today as it has ever been. I am confident that the Ramblers is well placed to attract the next generation of walkers and to continue to achieve greater access for all.

“I would like to thank the board, the staff, and the members and volunteers of this great organisation for all their friendship, and their dedication to the cause.”

Rodney Whittaker, chair of the Ramblers board of trustees, added: “We will all miss Tom, not least for his honesty, integrity, energy, vision, determination and drive.

“During his four years as our chief executive he has guided the Ramblers through a most difficult period when, along with many other charities, it was adversely affected by the recession. He has also put in place a number of important changes which have equipped us well for the future.

“On behalf of the board of trustees and all our members I thank him for all he has done and wish him well in the future.”

The Ramblers trustees are now starting the process to appoint a new chief executive, whom they hope to name by early December. Mr Franklin will leave at Christmas.

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