Guidance for Walk Leaders


Toddington Rambling Club Guidelines for Walk Leaders

Preparation for the Ramble

1) Walk round the paths noting time and distance. Plan to include a ten minute coffee stop.

2) If a Pub/Café lunch is planned, check with landlord and get details.

3) If the ramble is some miles away, consider a convenient rendezvous where car sharing could be organised. Check available parking. If parking at Pub/Café inform Ramblers whether they are allowed to use car park if not using Pub/Café. If not suggest a suitable alternative.

4) Contact Yvonne, Programme Secretary, to arrange a date and time, tell her the area, parking arrangements including postcode and preferably an OS grid reference - mileage, coffee stop, picnic/lunch etc. (01582 607155, 07817 061 540,

On the Day of the Ramble

1) If appropriate. when a Pub/Café lunch has been organised, at the car park at start of the ramble get necessary details from Ramblers and notify the landlord. It is usual to have a coffee break at 11am.

2) Check numbers before you start your ramble, after any stops and at the end

3) Check all party members are suitably equipped to cope with the terrain and the prevailing weather conditions. This will have to be a very brief subjective assessment.

4) Ask if there are any new walkers – if so then introduce them to the group and explain to them that they are not insured and they walk at their own risk.

5) Please note the number of walkers and also the names of any new members/visitors. (After the walk please give this information to the Programme Secretary – 01582 607155).

6) If there are more than 7 people on the ramble, appoint a back-marker and make sure they have a whistle. Ensure he or she is known to the party, and that everyone knows their function: to close gates (unless found open) and to ensure that no member of the party falls behind unseen. However, it is the Leader’s responsibility to make sure that contact is not lost with the rear of the party because a gap has opened up in the middle.

7) If sheep and cattle are likely to be encountered, dog owners should be advised before the start, and should be prepared to put their animals on a lead when asked to do so. If chased by cattle any dogs should be let off their leads.

8) When entering a field where cattle/horses are present the group must stay together and cross the field as one large group rather than a series of small groups. Make sure everyone is assembled before setting off. Brief the group to keep together (put nervous walkers in the middle) and to walk slowly and calmly past the animals without talking.

9) If possible, take a mobile telephone and an Ordnance Survey map in order to give a grid reference in case emergency services are required. What 3 Words app. could also be used.

10) At the end of breaks give the party at least 2 minutes warning before leaving and wait until all are ready.

11) On roads encourage single file, facing oncoming traffic, cross over when you are about to approach the inside of a bend. The leader and back-marker are recommended to wear reflective vests or arm bands on the left arm on any walk involving road walking.

12) Ensure that ramblers keep in single file whilst walking through, or alongside, growing crops.

September 2023 



Toddington Rambling Club  Risk Assessment for Walks

Parking at start -  Danger of car accident Select on Reccy Walk Inform drivers of parking- pub or car park if possible

Number of walkers -  Losing walkers If too high split walk Check as per guidelines at start, stops & end

Weather Bad -  weather causing accident Check forecast & cancel if extreme Continuous checks

Walk Conditions-   Difficulty for some Check on Reccy & advise Possible detour if really bad

Group getting Split -  Appoint Back Marker  If more than 5 on walk As per guidelines

Crossing busy roads -  Walker hit by vehicle Check on reccy walk Nominate person to cross first to ascertain traffic flow

Walking along roads  -  Vehicle Accident Almost always Walk in single file as per guidelines

Slopes - Up Struggle for walkers Almost always Take care & recommend pole use

Slopes - Down Slipping Almost always Take care & recommend pole use

Muddy tracks - Slipping Check on reccy walk Try to avoid if very bad

Stiles -  Falling of stile Check on reccy walk Take care & offer assistance

Streams -  Falling into water Check on reccy walk Use bridges

Cyclists on path -   Collision with Bike Check on reccy walk Warn walkers when seen

Animals - Cattle etc Chased by Cattle Check on reccy walk Avoid if possible

Accident - Slight Blister, Cut etc Always present Offer assistance if possible - Share baggage in group

Accident - Serious Broken Limb etc Check on reccy walk for access Call emergency services on mobile phone


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