Guidance for Walk Leaders

Guidance Notes for Leaders

Guidance Notes for Leaders

In advance of the walk

  • Submit your walks to the programme secretary in good time and in the format requested.
  • Pre-walk your planned route to gain an idea of the timings, conditions, potential hazards and places to stop for comfort breaks, coffee and lunch.
  • If conditions mean that you need to cancel the walk, inform the programme secretary, giving as much notice as possible. If short notice is unavoidable, the walk leader must still attend Petersfield Station and the start of the walk to “catch” those who may not have been informed (or make arrangements for other people to do this).

Before the walk starts

  • Hold a short briefing with the walkers giving an outline of the route, hazards along the way and general conditions. Discourage anyone who is obviously not equipped properly for the walk that day not to take part.
  • For larger groups, nominate a backmarker to walk at the rear of the group. Agree the numbers of walkers with the backmarker. The backmarker should stay at the back of the walking group at all times.
  • Preferably ensure you have an OS map of the area that covers the whole walk, a mobile phone, a compass and a whistle.

During the walk

  • Maintain the pace of the walk so that the group does not become too strung out. The leader should be able to see the backmarker at all times. At intervals, and especially after breaks, count the number of walkers to ensure that no one is missing.
  • Where a road is encountered, make walkers aware at the beginning of the road section. Instruct people to walk in single file, paying attention to the traffic. Make walkers aware of oncoming cars. Walk on the right hand side of the road, unless approaching a right hand bend, when the left hand side is safest. If this involves crossing the road, this should be done before the bend and with great care.
  • If conditions dictate, leaders may vary or shorten the route.

At the end of the walk

  • Ensure that everyone has returned and thank the backmarker.