Due to Covid 19 still being in the population and highly contagious, we need to organise and lead group walks in a safe manner. The following guidance is based on advice from Ramblers limiting group walks to six people including the walk leader. Understand and manage the risks by considering the following:

  1. Type of walk – Consider planning short to medium walks at first as these will be more popular.
  2. Walk within your limits – Avoid riskier outings such as strenuous trails or remote locations to minimise the risk of an incident taking place and the need to call on emergency services. Try and avoid farmyards and local houses.
  3. Plan walks to avoid busy times and locations. For example; certain areas in the Peak District are very popular at weekends.
  4. Try and avoid congested areas and narrow footpaths.
  5. Follow the latest government guidance on travel and transport. Car sharing and public transport are high risk.
  6. Recce your walk as close to the date as possible. Make a note of hazards and plan any adjustments. For example, cows restricting the route?
  7. Think about – Where you will stop for breaks, alternative routes to avoid styles and narrow footpaths and escape routes if the walk needs to be cut short.
  8. Provide your contact details, a brief description of the walk and meeting place to the walk coordinator.
  9. Make a list of people you are expecting on the walk.
  10. Be prepared – In addition to your normal walking kit, always carry:
    a. A list of people registered on the walk
    b. A fully charged mobile (switched on before and during the walk)
    c. Back up battery if using your mobile for navigating
    d. A first aid kit
    e. A paper map in addition to any electronic maps
    f. Food and drink
    g. Gloves for hygiene
    h. Face covering in case of incidents
    i. Hand sanitiser that is a minimum of 60% alcohol
  11. Welcome Briefing – First, check the people who have turned up are on your list. Anyone not on your list cannot join in the walk. In addition to the normal walk description remind everyone about social distancing, hygiene measures and any particular hazards on the route. Check walkers have a face covering and hand sanitiser with them. If not, they cannot participate.
  12. During the walk follow the latest government guidelines on social contact and physical distancing and follow the countryside code.
  13. Avoid touching gates, styles and seats where possible. Gloves can help with this and regularly use hand sanitiser during the walk.
  14. Do not share food, drink or equipment.
  15. After the walk thank everyone for their patience.
  16. Report any incidents and provide feedback on any additional risk controls that may be necessary. Remember to wash your hands after the walk.

This policy was last revised 28 June 2020.

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