The Ramblers campaign on behalf of walkers throughout Britain

The Ramblers campaign on behalf of walkers throughout Britain

Britain’s biggest walking charity has a new boss, who will take over the organisation next February.

Keen walker Benedict Southworth replaces Tom Franklin as chief executive of the Ramblers who leaves at Christmas.

Mr Southworth has more than 20 years’ experience working for charities and campaign groups, including Greenpeace International, Friends of the Earth, 38 Degrees, Amnesty International and the World Development Movement Trust.

For the past two years he has worked as a consultant to a number of charities, providing support on strategy development, mentoring and campaign planning processes. Clients included ActionAid UK, ActionAid International, Christian Aid, the European Climate Foundation, Friends of the Earth, and Unicef UK.

Mr Southworth said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Ramblers, whose campaigns have done so much to protect our right to access Britain’s countryside and footpaths.

“This is a critical time for the organisation when the successes Ramblers have achieved are threatened by changes to the way we see and use the countryside.

“As a keen walker myself I hope to introduce the joys and benefits of walking to the many people who are not aware of the opportunities on their doorstep.

“I’m looking forward to working with the staff, members and volunteers who make the Ramblers what it is today.”

Rodney Whittaker, chair of the Ramblers board of trustees, said “We extend a warm welcome to Benedict as the new chief executive and eagerly await the New Year as he takes the helm in our continued fight to safeguard the footpaths, the countryside and places we go walking, and encourage more people to take up walking.

“The Ramblers are entering a new and exciting era in our fight for access but it won’t be without its challenges. Benedict’s long history of visionary work in the charity sector, both in the UK and abroad, his environmental work, proven leadership skills and passion for walking, set him in good stead to confidently lead the Ramblers, our volunteers and members, as we embark on this new journey.”

The Ramblers have more than 17,000 volunteers. The organisation runs more than 38,000 walks a year, and campaigns for better walking routes and more walking opportunities.

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