From a technologist to a CEO; a qualified barrister to director of the Women's Climbing Symposium. Meet your new voluntary team at the top of the BMC.
The key to the BMC’s continued success lies with its core of volunteers, which stretch from local crag access contacts to the BMC board – called the Executive Committee . The Executive is responsible for strategic decisions and implementing policies recommended by the national council.
The Executive comprises the directors (the president, three vice-presidents and the honorary treasurer), the BMC CEO, up to three representatives from the National Council and two independent directors selected by interview. With the exception of the BMC CEO, all the roles, although demanding, are unpaid and last for a fixed term of three years.
Following this year’s AGM, we now welcome a fresh team to lead the BMC forward and meet the challenges of the next three years.
The president, vice presidents and treasurer
Continuing their terms, vice presidents Nick Kurth and Emma Flaherty were elected, as was president Rehan Siddiqui, although he resigned at the end of the AGM to concentrate on running his business.
Vice president Nicholas Kurth CBE has now stepped in as acting president. Nicholas climbs and walks with the RAF Mountaineering Association, having been its president previously. He was responsible for the highly successful British Services’ Makalu Expedition in 2008 and is a member of the BMC’s London and SE Area. Read our interview with Nick.
Vice president Emma Flaherty is the partnership development manager for a team of PE teachers and the PE and school sport manager for the local authority in Sheffield. In addition, she is one of the directors of the Women's Climbing Symposium during her spare time. Aside from work, Emma has led E4 and bouldered 8a on many adventures around the world.
New vice president Lynn Robinson was voted into a vacant position from the floor of the AGM. Lynn has been a BMC member for 30 years. Her real passion is in guidebook work, and she’s been involved in all of the new series of BMC guidebooks from Burbage, Millstone and Beyond to the current volumes. She co-chairs the Women’s Development Group and has just received the BMC George Band Award for Outstanding Voluntary Contributions to Mountaineering. Read our interview with Lynn.
Bowline Climbing Club member Graham Richmond is the new honorary treasurer. Graham has long been involved with local climbing in the Midlands – especially developing climbing in the local quarries – has chaired the BMC Midlands Area and was also a National Council representative on the Executive.
The National Council representatives
For this term, there are three national council representatives on the Executive: Roger Fanner, Will Kilner and Rik Payne.
Roger Fanner is a qualified barrister, spent his career working in Magistrates Courts as a senior manager. He has been climbing and enjoying the mountains for over 50 years. He holds the SPA and summer ML and works as a climbing instructor, mostly at Midlands climbing walls.
Will Kilner first joined the BMC in 2003, and has been a volunteer across a range of BMC committees and events. He is keen on the importance of developing the BMC’s Welsh voice, to help address some of the issues associated with representing a country where many of the issues that affect walkers, climbers and mountaineers are devolved to the Welsh assembly.
Rik Payne works in education and has spent ten years spent running his own business and working as the acting manager of an outdoor centre.
The independent directors
The two new independent directors were officially voted in at the AGM: Matthew Bradbury and Simon McCalla.
Matthew Bradbury has been enjoying the outdoors since learning to climb, hill walk and ski when at school. He has made a career out of caring for the countryside and wild places in particular. For over 20 years, he ran a national consultancy business advising landowners on environmental management, access and sustainability. Since then, Matthew has been privileged to work in senior positions for one of the largest Wildlife Trusts, The Land Trust and now he enjoys running one of the largest independent Park Trusts in the UK.
Simon McCalla learnt to climb on the sea cliffs of Devon and Cornwall in the late eighties. Moving on to gritstone, Scotland and the Alps, Simon then decided to use his climbing to help kids gain confidence through exploring the outdoors. More recently, he has focused on winter climbing exploring Norway, Italy and Scotland in a quest to find some ice that doesn’t terrify him. Professionally, Simon has a background in technology and has worked in a wide range of industries to help businesses achieve commercial growth.
These nine key volunteers will work with the national council, the 31 full-time staff, the hundreds of dedicated volunteers and our 83,900 members to face the challenge of representing and growing our membership in line with participation trends and keeping the BMC relevant for all current and future walkers and climbers.
And a new patron...
Also joining the team will be new Patron Rab Carrington. Rab –gear guru and past president of the BMC – joins our existing patrons Sir Chris Bonington CBE, Mick Fowler, Lord Tony Greaves, Pat Littlejohn OBE and Doug Scott CBE. Read our interview with Rab.
Helping to spread the BMC word is our ambassador team: Steve McClure, Shauna Coxsey, Hazel Findlay, James McHaffie, Chris Townsend and Mary-Ann Ochota.
Right now is an exciting time for the outdoor world. A recent Active Lives Survey revealed that 2.14 million people now go hill walking, climbing or mountaineering twice a month. That’s almost 2 million walkers, around 100,000 outdoor climbers and 170,000 indoor climbers. We believe that we’re all connected by a shared love of adventure, whether that’s found on a chalky crimp or a windswept mountain.
As Nick Kurth, the new acting president says: “I believe climbing and mountaineering should be accessible to all. We should not suffer from tribalism – the notion that individuals fit into one particular camp. Most of my climbing friends can be seen in walls or out walking the hills when the weather is bad and, to me, this diversity is one of the real attractions of the activity we are all so passionate about.”
Our thanks go to the outgoing Executive members who navigated the BMC through some tricky waters: Brian Smith, Rupert Davies, John Simpson, Colin Knowles and Dierdre Collier. Very special thanks to Rehan Siddiqui, our very inclusive, dedicated and energetic president who stepped down early after successfully leading the BMC during its recent challenge.
We want to say a big thanks to every BMC member who continues to support us through the Coronavirus crisis.
From weekly Facebook Lives and GB Climbing home training videos, to our access team working to re-open the crags and fight for your mountain access, we couldn’t do it without you.
Did you know that we've just launched a new U27 membership offer for just £1 / month? And with full membership from £1.66 / month, it's never been easier to join and support our work: