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Well-known on Arran for her wildlife walking tours and for her work with the Arran Mountain Rescue Team, blogger and mountain leader Lucy Wallace has been named as the first woman president of walking charity Ramblers Scotland.
Lucy, who is 45, is a professional wildlife guide and outdoor instructor who holds winter, summer and International Mountain Leader awards. She is an accredited Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme assessor and works with schools and young people on expeditions throughout Scotland.
She will succeed countryside ranger Ben Dolphin as Ramblers Scotland’s honorary figurehead, following the organisation’s AGM in North Berwick recently. 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.
Lucy 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.
Lucy 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 was delighted to have Lucy on board and 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.’
Lucy 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 the Arran Outdoor Centre and as RSPB Scotland’s information officer for the island before setting up her own wildlife guiding and mountain leading business.
The voluntary position of president is elected on an annual basis, with presidents often serving for the maximum term of three years.