Hi all Friends of the John o’ Groats Trail,
The JOGT has been launched and inaugurated! With the help of Lord Thurso on Saturday 22 May, the JOGT celebrated the beginning of works to create a trail from Inverness to John o’ Groats. There was a stunning slideshow by naturalist photographer Ken Crossan. In addition, there were excellent speeches by Islay MacLeod of Thrumster House, Marina Swanson of the Highland Rangers, Sinclair Dunnett of Puffin Express tours, and Mr S.W.M. Threipland of Dunbeath Estate. It was truly one of the best days of my life and I was touched by the energy and sincerity of the speakers and the great enthusiastic turnout.
The next day, Sunday 22 May, we had a volunteer event with members of the Caithness Countryside Volunteers helping to build the trail around Noss Head and Castle Sinclair-Girnigoe. We successfully marked about 1.5 miles of the trail. We also had a Ramblers walk/work trip on 15 May near Helmsdale. This was joined by several members of the Sutherland Walkers Group, for a total of 15 people out on the hillside.
Combined with some marking I did myself, we marked or built approximately 5 miles of trail in just two weeks time!
Many people have asked me “What’s next?” now that the launch has happened. Here are some answers:
We will have regular volunteer days up and down the coast. Please let me know if you would like to be added to our volunteer list. This list will be exclusively for volunteer activities, and only go to those interested in volunteering. The first volunteer days are planned for 18 and 19 June. Please let me know if you want more details.
We now have a draft of our constitution and we will be fine-tuning that in order to constitute ourselves and apply to be a registered charity. This is a necessary step in order to apply for funds to pay for trail-building supplies, a better web site, and other important things.
If you are walking the coast, please let me know how your walk goes. You can be my eyes and ears along the trail to see what needs to be done.
I will be in the Highlands again for a short visit 13-22 June. I hope to see you then! My next longer visit will probably be in August.
Thank you for your continued interest and support. Together we are building a trail!
All the best,