Ramblers' new chief executive Vanessa Griffiths

Ramblers' new chief executive Vanessa Griffiths

A former conservation charity boss is to step in as chief executive of the country’s biggest walkers’ organisation.

Vanessa Griffiths will take over the post in charge of the Ramblers in November.

Ms Griffiths is currently assistant director of National Trust Wales, with responsibility for staff and volunteers looking after parts of Snowdonia, the Great Orme, Bodnant Garden, Chirk Castle, Erddig House and Parkland, Penrhyn Castle and Plas Newydd.

She will take over from interim chief executive Natasha Clayton on 21 November. Ms Clayton was appointed interim chief executive in July following the departure of Benedict Southworth, who stood down from his position at the Ramblers after four years as chief executive.

Ms Griffiths said: “I’m delighted to be joining the Ramblers, who do so much to protect our right to access Britain’s countryside and historic path network and help people enjoy the many health and wellbeing benefits of walking.

“This is an exciting time for the charity, with lots of opportunities to get more people walking and becoming healthier and happier as a result.

“I am a keen walker myself and look forward to helping people connect with the beautiful landscapes Britain has to offer. The Ramblers have a proud history of helping people find their feet and protecting our paths and countryside for future generations, and I’m looking forward to working with the staff, members and volunteers who make the Ramblers what it is today.”

The new chief executive has previously led Groundwork North Wales, a social enterprise that works with disadvantaged individuals and communities to help them to improve their own lives through the creation of green spaces, green jobs and green energy.

Before this Ms Griffiths was a senior civil servant within the Welsh Government, where she was responsible for economic development and business support.

Des Garrahan, chair of the Ramblers board of trustees, said “We are delighted that Vanessa Griffiths is joining us as our new chief executive and we extend a warm welcome to the Ramblers.

“Vanessa has a long history of caring for landscapes and helping connect people with place, which stands her in good stead as the lead of Britain’s walking charity.

“This is an exciting time for the Ramblers, when we are seeing a huge demand for our work. We are confident that Vanessa’s background in conservation and sustainable development makes her the perfect candidate to lead the Ramblers in our ongoing journey to protect and promote footpaths and the British walking environment.”

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