ADDITIONAL NOTES FOR WALK LEADERS Issue 3 04-08-2011
(To be read in conjunction with Code of Behaviour for Walkers)
The Club is grateful for the trouble taken by leaders in preparing walks; without such help the Club could not function. Leaders will be familiar with the guidance contained in the Club’s Code of Behaviour for Walkers. The leader’s prime concerns are the safety and enjoyment of the group. The leader should use discretion in adverse conditions and a walk should be cancelled where police advise against unnecessary travel The following additional points are for the guidance of leaders.
1 The Club has insurance cover for third party damage and it is the responsibility of the leader to take reasonable action to ensure that the risk of any such damage is kept to a minimum and that the walk is conducted in a safe manner so as to guard against any charge of negligence.
2 Where possible the leader should check the route thoroughly shortly before the day of the walk to ensure awareness of new circumstances requiring a change of route. The leader should obtain any necessary permission and seek information on anything interesting on the route. In planning the leader should prepare a timetable, remembering that a group may take significantly longer than one or two walkers. The leader should arrange for a substitute if unable to lead the walk.
3 The leader must ensure that all participants sign the Walk Register and should use discretion in allowing the participation of anyone appearing to be clearly unfit or not properly equipped for the walk.
4 The leader should not permit dogs to be brought on a walk and should discourage stray dogs from joining the group.
5 The leader should have possession of the Club’s emergency pack and mobile telephone.
6 The leader should have adequate navigational aids, particularly map and compass and be competent in their use.
7 The leader should see that parking is carried out safely and without obstruction and that all walkers are able to leave the assembly point at the end of the walk.
8 The number in the group should be counted. If the group is too large for safety it should be split. The numbers should be checked as the walk proceeds.
9 On A to B walks the leader should, as far as possible, ensure that there are sufficient cars left at the B point to return the full group to the A point without the need for double journeys.
10 The leader should appoint, and identify to the group, a ‘sweeper’. The sweeper’s functions are to maintain contact with the leader, to ensure that gates are closed, fences are in order, no litter is dropped and no one is left behind. When necessary the leader and sweeper should use the fluorescent tabards and gate signs provided in the club pack.
11 The walk should be started promptly and in any event not more than 5 minutes after the appointed time. This will discourage late-coming.
12 Control should be maintained at all times. No one should walk ahead without the leader’s consent and a pace should be set, as far as possible, to avoid stragglers.
13 Leaders should be prepared to modify or abandon a walk in the event of deteriorating conditions and should have an alternative plan for use if needed.
14 In the event of illness or injury of an individual, so that he or she is unable to complete the planned walk, the leader must ensure the safety of the individual, either by modifying the walk, by arranging for the individual to be escorted to a suitable point, or by contacting the rescue services