WALK LEADER GUIDANCE 

NEW WALKS AND WALK LEADERS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME
If you are considering leading a walk for the first time and would like some support, please contact the Walks' Secretary, Clive  - 079 7130 4590 - or speak to a Walk Leader when out walking. We are always happy to link you with a Walk Buddy and offer our help and advice.
We hold an extensive library of walk leaflets that are made available to members at our meetings . We also have a library of OS maps that can be borrowed at any time.  Go to the Links page for  a good selection walks' websites .

BOTHY BAGS are now available for  walk leaders. Contact John or Clive if you wish to borrow them.

Walk Grades

Walks are graded according to the walk leaders' perceived degree of difficulty

Grade A Easy walking, mainly on the flat, at a leisurely pace 

Grade B   Moderate some ascents and descents at a steady pace

Grade C Energetic some steep ascents and descents at a good pace

Grade D Strenuous long, steep ascents and descents that require a good level of stamina

                                      BEFORE THE WALK
Selecting a walk

Consider the season - hours of available daylight and possible weather conditions.
Consider the timing - allow 30 minutes per mile walking time + 30 minutes for coffee and lunch breaks. e.g. 10 mile walk = 5.5 hours + travel time to walk start.
Choose your route - if using a walk leaflet or walk guide it is advisable to also plot the route on the OS map.  This will be of help should you get lost whilst out walking.
Recceing the route

This should be done well before the walk date in case a second or third recce is needed.
Allow yourself, at least, 40 minutes per mile.
Walk the full route, preferably with someone else, noting critical navigation points, hazards and problems, adjusting the route as necessary.
If recceing on your own it is advisable to tell someone your walk route and expected return time beforehand.
Check parking spaces, timings, toilet points, coffee and lunch stops.
Note the directions and mileage from the meeting point to the walk
start for car sharing.
If there are any changes from the original walk proposal submitted to the Walks' Secretary, please inform either him or, if he is not available, the Chair.

                        SUBMIT YOUR WALK PROPOSALS
Email or post your walk proposals, noting both the preferred dates and the dates that you are not available, to the Walks' Secretary by the following dates: 
March 10th for the Summer Programme May - August
July 10th for the Autumn Programme September - December 
November 10th for the Spring Programme January - April  
If your walk is not chosen this time, please save it for the next programme and re-submit it.


                           THE DAY BEFORE YOUR WALK
Check accurate weather forecasts and be prepared to change or cancel the walk should they be adverse. If you decide to change or cancel the walk telephone the Walks' Secretary and arrange to e-mail the information to members. 
Check your personal gear and first aid kit.
Check that your mobile phone is fully charged, switched on and in credit.
Be prepared to receive telephone queries and messages from potential attendees.
Prepare written travel directions to the walk start, noting the postcode or coordinates, any parking fees and your mobile phone number.

                                         ON THE DAY
At the start
If possible you , or representative, should go to the meeting point even if the walk is cancelled.
Arrive early and welcome new walkers.
Share the details of the walk - distance, grade, terrain, estimated return time - and discuss with walkers if they are appropriately equipped, are carrying waterproofs and spare warm clothing, have a hot drink/water and sufficient refreshments and are fit enough to complete the walk safely. 
Be prepared to advise ill equipped or unfit walkers to return home and join us on another day.
Introduce walkers to each other and arrange car sharing, taking as few cars as possible.
Give written instructions to the drivers and ask them to note their mileage for passenger contributions.
On the walk
Count walkers and appoint a back marker.
Lead from the front and check frequently that you can see your back marker and have communication with them.
Remember to stop and regroup at a junction of paths or a turning point.
Consider your pace and check that all walkers are comfortable with it.
Regroup regularly, throughout the walk, to admire the views and discuss points of interest.
Be alert to potential problems with the weather and individuals, making a point of chatting to walkers, especially newcomers, checking that they are enjoying themselves.

FIRST AID KIT ALL members are asked to carry their own First Aid Kit of:
Antiseptic wipes ; absorbent pads ; plasters ; dressings ; tape ; crepe bandage ; insect sting spray ; antihistamine ; paracetemol ;  Aspirin (300mg tablets, in case of heart attack); scissors ; tweezers; safety pins and a large plastic bin liner bag.

EMERGENCY AID Dial 999 or 101 if it is not an emergency, but you still need help.
What should you do if a walker has an accident or becomes ill?
ALL members are asked to carry a Message in a Rucksack of personal information, their prescribed medication, a Basic First Aid Kit and a large plastic bin liner, check for these.
Do NOT give the casualty food or drink.
If suspected spinal injury DO NOT MOVE.
Ask a walker who has medical or first aid training to take over.
If injuries allow, insulate from the ground and keep warm & dry.(Using all available bin liner bags, spare clothing and walkers' body heat by cwtching up together around the patient)
If injuries allow, support the casualty in taking their prescribed medication or administering first aid treatment to themselves.
Make a note of the incident and report it to H & S officer, Olwen, on your return.
N.B.All incidents that occur on a Group* walk where outside assistance is required or where someone is injured and needs first aid/medical treatment (beyond just an antiseptic wipe and a plaster) must be reported to the walk leader. The walk leader must report the incident to the H&S Officer and complete an incident report form, within 10 days of the incident occurring.

* For insurance purposes a Group Walk is a walk that has been published on the programme, posted on the website or e-mailed to members.  If leaders have made the decision to change a walk after the programme has been published it is essential that members are made aware of the changes by E-Bulletin and/or through the website before the walk takes place. If this has not been possible the walk should be cancelled.