The Friends of the John o’ Groats Trail has charity status and is a coalition of walking groups and other community organisations, listed below.
Our goal is to develop the Trail through volunteer efforts and community support, in order to improve walking access for the community as well as develop the local tourism economy by opening the trail to long-distance walkers.
Legally speaking we are a charity association with a written constitution and we have been given charity number SC046737 by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. The executive committee of the association currently consists of:
- Chair: Jay Wilson. Based in Berriedale. Jay has walked most of the trail twice and some of it multiple times.
- Secretary: Catherine MacLeod. Based in Thrumster. She runs Thrumster House B&B and cottages with her mother Islay MacLeod and she is on the board of Venture North a tourism initiative.
- Treasurer: Sinclair Dunnett. Based in Inverness. He runs Puffin Express tour operator, is active in HOSTGA (Highlands of Scotland Tour Guide Association), and is a member of the Inverness Ramblers walking group.
- Trustee: Neil Manson. Based in Wick. He is a member of the Caithness Waybaggers and Hillwalkers Anonymous walking groups, and is a current member of the charity Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland.
- Trustee: David Hannah. Based in Ardgay. He is treasurer of the Sutherland Walkers Group, Ardgay Scottish Country Dance Club, Scottish Esperanto Association and Creich & Kincardine Branch of Legion Scotland. He is also a trustee of East & Central Sutherland Community Care Forum, Gearrchoille Community Wood Ardgay, and Ardgay Public Hall. David is an experienced walks leader, and has already walked a large part of the Trail, with SWG and independently.
In addition to our trustees, we also have some key volunteer posts:
- Volunteer Coordinator: Charlie Bain. Based in Wick. Charlie is an avid walker, having trekked several times in the Alps and the Himalayas. He has built more stiles on the JOGT than anyone.
- JOGT Photographer: Derek Bremner. Based in Wick. Derek is an avid photographer and keen walker. He is a regular contributor of photos to several local websites and keeps us supplied with fresh images of the trail.
- JOGT Mapmaker: Andy Robinson. Based in Cheshire. Andy is the author of the Cicerone book The End to End Trail and is currently working on a guide to the John o’ Groats Trail with Jay Wilson.
Local Walking Groups:
- Sutherland Walkers Group: Based in Dornoch, Bruce Field chair
- Great Glen Walking Club: Based in Inverness, Walter Grant president
- Caithness Waybaggers: Based in Wick, Robert MacKenzie chair
- The Ramblers, Inverness Group: Roger Smith chair
- Easter Ross Rights of Way Association, Alistair Jupp chair
- DACIC: Dornoch Area Community Interest Company
- Timespan: A cultural museum, arts centre and cafe located in Helmsdale
- Venture North: A tourism organisation promoting Caithness and Sutherland
- BaDAG: Brora and District Action Group
- Black Isle Tourism Group
- Thrumster Estates: B&B, self-catering accommodation, and shooting and stalking holidays, near Wick
- Puffin Express Tours: Private day-tours of the Highlands, based in Inverness
- Netherton Farm B&B: Lovely farm B&B with en-suite rooms, on the Black Isle
- Colourflow-Images: Nature photography specialists, near Helmsdale
- Lethr Craft: Hand made leather goods, unique gift shop, gold panning, workshops in leather work, in Helmsdale
- Seaview Hotel: A family-run hotel near John o’ Groats, renowned for its hospitality
- Patricia Niemann: Goldsmith and designer for gemstones, jewellery and studio glass, Berriedale studio open to visitors
- Haven House Art: Original Scottish Art by Lisa Weller, located on the Caithness Coast
For more information about who we are, please contact us.