The walk day & prior

The Day Prior to the Walk

  1. Leave information regarding your route (eg a copy of your Route Card and / or the Walk Brief) with a Contact who should be advised on successful completion of the walk.  A time limit should also be agreed with regard to the initiation of rescue initiatives by the Contact in the event of a failure to report the completion.
  2. Check the weather forecast and if adverse decided if you need to cancel the walk or invoke your alternative route.  Telephone the members who have booked and advise them of the new arrangements.
  3. Prepare travel instructions if the start point is difficult to find.
  4. Liaise with any walkers who have informed you that they are going direct to the start point for the walk.
  5. Gather your ‘Leaders Kit’ together – maps, route card, compass, GPS (if used), first aid kit, mobile phone, walkie talkies, survival shelter.
  6. Check batteries for the GPS and walkie talkies.
  7. Obtain the cheque to pay for the minibus (if being used).

The Walk Day At the Meeting Point

  1. Be at the meeting point early. Have any Day Members complete the Day Membership form.
  2. Make new members welcome, introduce he/she to the group.
  3. Check the Booking Sheet to verify everyone has turned-up.  If people are missing try to contact them.  If you are unable to contact them and they have not turned up 5 minutes after the published meeting time assume that they are not coming.
  4. Collect the walk fee.
  5. Verify the walkers (particularly new members) are properly equipped for the expected weather conditions and the terrain.
  6. Arrange to share transport to minimise the number of cars used.
  7. Brief drivers/navigators on directions to the start point.
  8. Pay the minibus driver (if used).

At the Start Point

  1. Ensure any walker making their own way direct to the start point has arrived.  If the person(s) is missing try to contact him/her.  If you are unable to contact him/her and he/she has not turned-up 5 minutes after the published start time assume that the walker is not coming.
  2. Ensure the cars are sensibly parked and will not inconvenience others.
  3. Brief the group on the route, highlights, difficult areas, lunch point, end time, weather, etc.
  4. Appoint back marker(s) and instruct he/she on the route and use of walkie talkie.
  5. Provide the back marker with a copy of the route card.
  6. Do a headcount in conjunction with the back marker.
  7. Brief the minibus driver (if used) of the collection point.  Provide a map if necessary.

During the Walk

  1. Keep a steady pace and keep a watch on your section timings. Keep to the pace of the slowest walker.
  2. Be aware of the group and keep an eye out for anyone struggling to keep-up.
  3. Think about pauses to regroup but don’t rush off as soon as the tail-enders have caught up.  The tail-enders will need a rest too.
  4. Don’t let the group get too strung out, particularly in wooded areas or in low visibility.
  5. Stay in touch with your back marker.
  6. Remember the Countryside Code and remind the group if need be.
  7. Keep the group closely marshalled when walking on roads.
  8. Watch for changes in the weather and take necessary actions if the conditions become adverse.
  9. If a dog is with the group avoid going through a field with cows and calves. Without dogs keep quiet, move the group away and out of the field as soon as possible. If the cows get too close, turn quietly to face them with arms outstretched. If there is a lone bull find another route. If anyone is hurt the HSE should be contacted
  10. Club policy allows the Walk Leader to determine the number of dogs on green walks only. In the event of cattle being attracted dog owners and dogs are to cross the field separately the walk leader and the remainder of the group.
  11. In the event of an incident:
  • Ensure that the rest of the group is safe and secure.
  • Determine the nature and extent of the injury/condition and decide what form of assistance is required and how it should be summoned (remember mobile phone reception is patchy in remote or hilly areas so 112 texting may be ).
  • Keep the group together if possible.
  • If you need to send people to get assistance then send a minimum of two people competent in navigation and ensure they are properly equipped with maps, compass, etc.
  • If an incident occurs make a note of what happened, names of person(s) involved, time, the terrain, weather conditions, available light and other relevant information with which to compile an Incident Report.

At the End of the Walk

  1. Check everyone is accounted for.
  2. Ascertain if new members have enjoyed the walk.
  3. Verify that people are comfortable with the return journey (directions, lift, etc).

After the Walk

  1. Transfer the walk fees to the club bank account and sent the completed booking form to the treasurer and Walk Programme Leader
  1. Indemnity Forms and Day Membership forms should be sent to the Walk Programme Leader
  1. If a reportable incident occurred on the walk, liaise with the Walk Programme Leader and complete an incident report form.  The completed form should be forwarded to the Walk Programme Leader for retention by the Club.

Expenses Walk Leaders may claim ‘out of pocket’ expenses up to the limit set by the AGM (currently £20) for each walk led.  This ‘out of pocket’ expenses limit includes the recce activity.  Normally, expenses will not be paid for week or weekends away as an ‘out of pocket’ expense will not be incurred.  Expense incurred in the purchase of maps, walky-talky batteries, etc may be separately claimed.  Receipts will be required.  Expenses may be claimed by submitting an Expense Claim form to the Club Treasurer.

Useful Reading

  1. Hill Walking – The official handbook of the Mountain Training walking Written by: Steve Long with contributions from PyB staff. Published by: Mountain Training UK.
  2. Mountaincraft and Leadership – Fourth Edition.  Written by: Eric Langmuir.  Revised and Published by the Mountain Training Boards of England and Scotland