Guidance Notes for Leaders
In advance of the walk ?
Submit your walks to the programme secretary in a timely fashion for the next programme and in accordance with the requested formats. ? Pre-walk your planned route, as required, to gain an idea of the timings, conditions and where to stop for comfort, coffee and lunch breaks. (Suggested timings for breaks are coffee 10 minutes and lunch 20 minutes)
Before the walk starts
Give a brief description of the route and conditions to the group walking. You should strongly discourage anyone taking part who you believe lacks suitable equipment for the conditions and duration of the walk. ? Nominate a backmarker to walk at the rear of the group to check that gates are closed and alert the walk leader if there is a problem. Together you should agree the number of walkers attending. (If you take a mobile ensure that your ‘backmarker’ knows your number if they also have a phone). ? Ideally you should carry an OS map that covers the whole walk, a mobile phone and a whistle. (The recognised emergency signal is 6 blasts in rapid succession repeated every minute).
During the walk
Maintain the pace of the walk to suit all those attending and ensure that contact is not lost with the rear of the group especially after encountering awkward stiles etc. Regularly check with the backmarker and others that no one is missing especially after comfort, lunch and coffee breaks. Where the walk crosses a busy road, together with the backmarker, ensure all walkers are safely across before continuing the walk. ? If conditions dictate, you may either vary or shorten your planned route. In extreme circumstances, if cancellation of the walk is the only possible option, ensure you inform the programme secretary, giving as much notice as possible. You should be at the start of the walk at the published start time to inform anyone who turns up that the walk will not take place.
At the end of the walk
Ensure that everyone is accounted for and thank the backmarker