West Herts Group

Walking in Hertfordshire and The Chilterns

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Guidance for Walk Leaders

  • You do not need any special qualifications to be a walk leader though you do need to be able to read a map or follow instructions in a guide book. The ability to use a compass is useful but not essential. If you go wrong (and most of us do sooner or later) members of the group can always help you out.
  • When selecting a venue leaders should do their best to ensure that car parking facilities are adequate both from the standpoint of capacity and security. Car parks with lots of comings and goings are less attractive to thieves. However, it is recognised that there may not be a suitable alternative, and there can be no definitive guidance on this. If there is a Parking Charge this should be mentioned in the walk description in the programme.
  • Before setting off give a brief outline of the walk pointing out any hazards such as busy road crossings, possible causes of difficulty such as steep hills or particular points of interest.
  • Make any newcomers welcome. This includes non Ramblers members, they are allowed 3 trial walks before being expected to join and our aim is to encourage them to do so by making them feel welcome.
  • Always appoint a backmarker unless the group is very small. It is helpful to do a recce with the backmarker if possible.
  • Take care not to walk faster than the group can manage and keep checking to see that everyone is keeping up. Occasional stops so that stragglers can catch up are useful as is a means by which your backmarker can let you know of any problems. A whistle is handy here.
  • Let the group know how long breaks are going to be and give a few minutes warning before moving on again.
  • If the walk is longer than 7 miles include a lunch stop. If the walk is marginally over 7 miles and you do not intend to stop for lunch state this in the walks programme.
  • Take particular care when crossing or walking along roads. Give advance warning and advice such as walking in single file and ask others to help you in ensuring that everyone crosses safely.
  • The leader is not responsible for first aid but it is a good idea to carry a mobile phone and possibly a basic medical kit though the advice is to be very careful when attempting to give first aid. Accidents are mercifully very rare but if in doubt always call for professional help. Any accidents should be reported. Contact the group chairperson or walks organiser for a form. The Ramblers provide good insurance cover.
  • If you are willing, it would be good to take someone on a recce who has never led a walk before. We hope this might boost confidence and encourage new walk leaders.
  • Both walk leaders and backmarkers must be Ramblers members.

More help for walk leaders can be found on the Ramblers Walk Leader toolkit page including check lists, incident forms and role descriptions.

Cancelling a Walk

We understand that situations arise were either leaders can no longer lead their walk or external circumstances, such as bad weather, path diversions etc dictate that the walk cannot proceed.

  • Our walks are advertised on the UK Ramblers web site, our group web site and via our posted and email programmes. Consequently if you need to cancel the walk please give as much notice as possible to enable the Walks Organiser to advertise the cancellation.
  • If the reason of cancellation is unavailability of the leader and enough notice is given, we will usually attempt to find a replacement leader rather than cancel advertised walks.
  • Not all our members are contactable via email and where the cancellation is at very short notice we usually ask the leader to attend the start point to explain that the walk has been cancelled.
  • To cancel a walk, contact the Walks Organiser as follows:
Ian Brander tel: 01727 866754 mob: 07760 413794
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

If the cancellation is at short notice please contact via the phone.

  • If you are unable to speak to the Walks Organiser use the alternate contacts:
Chris and Lynda Abbott tel: 01582 792975 mob: 07803 037277 or 07803 037758

Or contact any committee member (they often lead walks and their phone numbers can be found on the walks programme).

Saturday, December 15, 2018