HINTS AND TIPS FOR WALK LEADERS
The aim of this guide is to help inexperienced walk leaders to arrange a walk and act as an aide memoire for more experienced walk leaders. Any questions can always be put personally to more experienced colleagues who are always willing to help. The Ramblers' fuller guidelines can be found at: http://www.ramblers.org.uk/technical-pages/searchresults.aspx?keywords=leading+a+walk
Choosing Your Walk For The Programme
Where, when and how far you walk is entirely your own choice if the date is free. However, unless you know of accepted exceptions please stick to rights of way and/or roads (the quieter the better). When submitting your programme entry please consider the following:
- Choose a start place that has adequate parking.
- Including the start grid reference is optional but please give some idea of the walking location so people know how far away it is.
- Please be as accurate as you can with the distance, if in doubt round up.
- When grading the walk consider both the climbs and the pace you will walk. If in doubt grade higher. New/less able walkers will use distance and grade to judge the walk's suitability for them.
- It is assumed the number of formal stops is 1 on Saturday and 2 on Sunday. If you want to vary this please include the change in your walks programme.
Grading the Walk
You need to grade your walk and the full definitions of each grade can be found at: http://www.ramblers.org.uk/go-walking/about-group-walks/walks-difficulty.aspx. The most commonly used grades for our group are:
- Leisurely - walks for reasonably fit people with at least a little country walking experience. May include un-surfaced rural paths. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are recommended.
- Moderate - walks for people with country walking experience and a good level of fitness. May include some steep paths and open country, and may be at a brisk pace. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential.
Just Before Your Walk Day
It is advisable to walk your route a week or so before the walk day:
- To ensure you know the route and will not get lost.
- To ensure there are no obstacles on the route (e.g. fallen trees, flooded areas etc).
- See the safeguarding vulnerable adults and children toolkit. Guidance for walk leaders. Be aware that everyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult and people with special needs must be accompanied by someone responsible for their direct care.
On The Walk Day
- Be at Keens house or arrange with someone who knows the start place to represent you there.
- Consider introducing any new members you know about.
- Do not leave Keens house until the meeting time, some walkers arrive at the last minute.
- It is a good idea to have catch-up/get your breath back stops; allow those at the back to have a rest too, particularly if you have graded the walk leisurely.
- On roads, walk on the right facing on-coming traffic but walk on the outside of blind bends
- If unfortunately any walker has an accident please complete the accident report form, avaialble from Andover Ramblers' Secretary.
- Unless your group is very small consider appointing a back-marker. This will help you in a number of ways:
- They can keep track of people who fall behind the group.
- You can quickly tell if the back-marker is out of sight that people are likely to be too far behind.
- They can let you know the views from the back regarding pace and when to set off again after a breather etc.