Ramblers Scotland appoint Lucy Wallace as first female president
Many readers will know Lucy who lives and works on the island, where with her husband she runs her outdoor company Wildwalks. As group walks and outdoor adventures are currently off limits, see Lucy’s website for her blogs on how she is spending her time during ‘Lamlash Lockdown’ https://www.arranwildwalks.com/
The following article is by Bob Smith, editor, first published at Ramblers Scotland on the appointment of Lucy becoming president of the organisation.
Lucy Wallace is a professional wildlife guide and outdoors instructor who lives on the Isle of Arran. She holds the Winter, Summer and International Mountain Leader Awards and is also accredited as a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award assessor.
The 45-year old succeeds countryside ranger Ben Dolphin as Ramblers Scotland’s honorary figurehead, following the organisation’s annual meeting in North Berwick at the weekend. She follows in the footsteps of the late conservationist Dick Balharry, award-winning broadcaster Cameron McNeish and Dr Andrew Murray, who was the Scottish Government’s first physical activity champion.
Ms Wallace said she hopes to use her presidency to encourage even more people to appreciate Scotland’s landscapes and world-class access rights, and to enjoy the health and social benefits of adventures on foot.
She said: “It will be a huge honour to become Ramblers Scotland’s first female president, and I hope to be the first of many. So many women enjoy Scotland’s outdoors, yet there is a distinct lack of female voices in prominent positions.
“The number of people walking for fun is booming, and I want to use this role to encourage even more people to get outdoors and to build a stronger connection with the amazing natural environment we’re so lucky to have on our doorsteps here in Scotland.
“I’m also looking forward to meeting our members and joining them in the hills.”
Ramblers Scotland director Brendan Paddy said he was delighted at Ms Wallace’s selection but recognised the appointment of a female president was a ‘long overdue’ step forward in the organisation’s 35-year history.
He said: “We feel truly lucky to have Lucy on board. As a passionate advocate for the outdoors and a highly experienced mountain leader, she has introduced hundreds of people to the natural world, making her the ideal person to inspire even more people to enjoy our country on foot.
“Women have played a hugely-influential role in the history of Scottish outdoor pursuits, from pioneers like Jane Inglis Clark and Nan Shepherd, to more modern heroes like Muriel Gray, Heather Morning and Hazel Strachan.
“While we are excited to welcome our first female president, we entirely recognise that this is a long overdue milestone, particularly as about two-thirds of Ramblers Scotland’s members and more than half our volunteer walk leaders are female.”
The voluntary position is elected on an annual basis, with presidents often serving for the maximum term of three years.
Lucy Wallace grew up in southern England and initially trained as an archaeologist. She moved to Scotland in 2005 with her outdoor instructor husband Wally. She has previously worked at an outdoor centre on Arran and as RSPB Scotland’s information officer for the island before setting up her own wildlife guiding and mountain leading business.
Ramblers Scotland is recognised by sportscotland as a governing body of sport. The membership organisation and charity has a grassroots network of 54 local groups, running 3,500 group walks a year which are all led and organised by 1,200 volunteers.