About

Achastle Fishery Ruin

The Friends of the John o’ Groats Trail has charity status and is a coalition of walking groups and other community organisations, listed below.  We are also a membership group; to become a member please use the contact form or see here for more details.

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.

We do business as Friends of the John o’ Groats Trail, but legally speaking we are the Association of Northern Trails Scotland, a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO), and we have been given charity number SC049061 by the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator. The executive committee of the association currently consists of:

Chair | Jay Wilson

Based in Berriedale. Jay enjoys long-distance walking and is inspired by the Appalachian Trail that goes through his native Virginia. He has walked the John o’ Groats Trail twice and some of it multiple times.
Secretary | Jonathan Jenkins (Jon)

Jon and his wife live a few miles north of Dornoch overlooking Loch Fleet and the John o’Groats Trail. He is Chairperson of the Sutherland Walkers Group and for many years has enjoyed walking in the Highlands on paths created and maintained by others. Whenever possible he volunteers to help promote and construct a viable trail from Inverness to John o’ Groats for all to enjoy.
Treasurer | Karl Rosie

Based in Thurso and was an avid walker until fulfilling a lifetime ambition by trekking to Everest base camp to celebrate his 50th birthday. He is keen to see the JOG – Inverness trail complimented by establishing a trail from JOG to Cape Wrath and rediscover his enthusiasm to walk on and enjoy the fantastic scenery that Caithness and the North Highlands has to offer. He represents the Thurso and NW Caithness Ward area as a Councillor.
Trustee | 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.
Trustee | Charlie Bain

Based in Wick. Charlie is an avid walker, having trekked several times in the Alps and the Himalayas. He is involved with Wick Paths Group and Wick Riverside Volunteers. He has completed 2 TGO Coast to Coast challenges. He has built more stiles on the JOGT than anyone else.
Trustee | Andrew Morgan

Andrew is a farmer at Noss Farm. Originally from Wales, where he grew up on a farm near a coastal trail! Andrew is an advocate for the environment and natural habitats, and runs his farm in an eco-friendly manner.
Trustee | Matthew Reiss

Based in Thurso. A keen walker and also general interest in environmental matters. Formerly a North Highland Police Officer and now represents the Thurso and NW Caithness Ward area as a Councillor.
Trustee | Isla MacPhail

From Brora, Isla has been involved with the trail for several years.
Trustee | Andrew Mowat

Along with Simon Cottam, Andrew is a partner in the John o’ Groats Brewery and on the board of the John o’ Groats Development Trust. He is also owner of the Sea View Hotel in John o’ Groats.

Trustee | Simon Cottam

Along with Andrew Mowat, Simon is a partner in the John o’ Groats Brewery and on the board of the John o’ Groats Development Trust. He also works at Dounreay.
Trustee | Ian Ellis

The originator of the North Coast Trail, Ian lives in Thurso.
Trustee | John Whitfield

Recently retired from the B&B business, John lives just south of Helmsdale and is active in the community there.


Sea Stack near Lybster

In addition to our trustees, we also have some key volunteer posts:

  • 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.

You can find a list of our supporters on the links page.