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Walk Leading Guidelines

The information below is based on best practice distilled from numerous walking organisations.

Remember: As Walk Leader, YOU control all aspects of the walk

1. Arrive

  • Arrive in good time at the start point.

  • This will give you time to organise yourself and your kit before getting involved in any other tasks.

2. Potentially there are other things to do:

  • Organise parking

  • Take calls/texts from people who are running late or lost enroute

  • Welcome people who have not been walking with the CWW before

  • Count the walkers

  • Appoint a Backmarker, if necessary, and brief them on what you want them to do.

3. Backmarker

Before the walk explain exactly what you want them to do. This may include:

  • Warning you if the pace is too fast

  • Informing you of anyone who is having problems

  • On sections with vehicle traffic call out “car behind” to warn the group

  • Ensuring that anyone taking a loo break is not left behind

4. Intro to the Walk

  • Should in 1 minute or less cover:

  • Welcome, where the walk is going, length of walk, points of interest, any hazards, details of any lunch stop, likely finish time, end of walk drink/refreshments

  • Tell them who is Backmarking and to keep between you and the Backmarker

5. Start

  • Set off at the stated time.
  • If not, keep the group informed of what is happening.

It’s Behind You, Not Just in Front of You

As Walk Leader you should always:

  • Lead from the front and stay at the front

  • Know exactly where you are on the route

  • Be aware of what is going on behind you

  • Maintain visual contact with the Backmarker

6. Pace

As Walk Leader:

  • YOU set the pace

  • DO NOT allow others to set the pace

  • Normal walking pace is 4 kph or 2.5 mph. Most people can maintain this pace comfortably.

  • During your recce you will have noted where the pace may vary, eg up hills.

  • Make sure that you are aware of what is going on behind you, if the group strings out, alter the pace or take a breather at an appropriate point.

7. Breathers

Take breathers where necessary.

You will have noted places for these during your recce, eg top of a hill.

  • Allow the whole group to catch up, take a breather and refresh themselves.

  • Do not set off again as soon as the Backmarker arrives with the slowest people, they need a break too.

  • Walk around the group and talk to people, assess their readiness for the next part of the walk.

  • Check with the Backmarker about pace and any problems.

8. Natural Breaks

  • Natural Breaks, such as styles and gates, will also act as breathers.
  • But, be aware of what is going on behind you after you pass a Natural Break.

9. Navigational Errors

Even the best Walk Leaders can get lost.

If you have done a proper recce, hopefully you won’t.

If you do, take your time to:

  • Check the map to see where you are and where you should be.

  • Do not be afraid to ask for help from within the group if you need it .

10. Lunch

When the lunch stop is reached:

  • Make sure that everyone knows how long they have for lunch.

  • Give a "ready to go" warning a few minutes before the restart.

  • Ask the Backmarker to count the group again as they set off.

11. End of the Walk

  • Make sure everyone returned.

  • Thank people for coming.

  • Thank the Backmarker.

  • Give details of post walk refreshments.

  • Take details of new people who want to go on the mailing list.

 

 

 

Friday, October 20, 2017