Group Walks: Guidance for volunteers

Group Walks

If you’re leading a Ramblers group walk, there are few things on this page to help you plan. These resources have been updated and simplified as we move into a phase of living with Covid-19. Stay safe and have fun.

Essential resources for leading group walks:

Other resources for leading group walks:

*New* Risk assessments should be stored for three years as part of our insurance requirements. Each walk leader can keep their own, or groups can choose someone to look after them.

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Can I limit the number of walkers on my group walk?

Yes. While it’s great to be able to offer walks to as many people as possible, it’s also really important that you feel comfortable with the number you’re leading. If you want to limit the numbers, choose a group size that feels right for you. 

If there are limited places, can we make the walk member-only, or give members priority booking?

No, Ramblers group walks must be open to everyone. This a key part of our charitable mission, to help everyone access and enjoy the pleasures and benefits of walking. 

Lots of people have started walking for the first time in the last year so it’s a great time to welcome new walkers for their three taster walks, as well as members from other groups.

Why have you introduced risk assessments?

Risk assessments need to be completed ahead of all group walks to ensure we meet the requirements of our insurers. Walk leaders work hard to plan safe walks and we need to make sure this work is recorded. 

Many walk leaders choose to complete the risk assessment as part of their recce, and we’ve updated the template to make sure it captures the right information while being as simple and straightforward as possible.

How do I complete a risk assessment?

Use our risk assessment template to help you plan your walk and make sure it’s safe for everyone. There are two steps to completing the risk assessment:

1) Identify potential hazards on your walk. We’ve added some categories to help guide you – but not all the sections will be relevant to every walk. 
2) Identify the steps you can take to minimise the risk of those hazards

*New* After a group walk, risk assessments should be stored for three years as part of our insurance requirements. Each walk leader can keep their own, or groups can choose someone to look after them. 

Do I need to take a register for NHS contact tracing?

We recommend taking a register in case it’s needed for NHS contact tracing.

If you're leading a Ramblers walk, use the Ramblers app. It will keep your walkers' data safe and help you build up a picture of your most popular walks in the Insight Hub. You can also ask new walkers for their contact details and encourage them to become members!

For more information, see our guide How to take a register with the Ramblers app.
If you want to use a paper register instead, use our paper register template.

What should someone do if they develop symptoms after a walk?

Remind walkers that if they develop Covid-19 symptoms after taking part, they should get a test and support NHS contract tracing if requested, including letting them know they’ve recently taken part in a Ramblers group walk. 

If contact tracers ask for the details of people on the walk, the walker should either:
a) Contact the walk leader, if a paper register was taken. Please let us know if you receive a request, so we can support the group. 
b) Contact the Ramblers office, if the app was used. They can contact us at or on 020 3961 3180. 


Can we organise coach rambles, car share or take public transport to group walks?

Yes, however this may depend on the current government restrictions in your area. Check the relevant website for the latest travel and transport advice where you live: England / Wales / Scotland

Do groups in Scotland need a volunteer Covid Officer?

Yes, appointing a Covid Officer is a requirement sportscotland has put in place for all sports restarting their activities. The purpose of this role is to make sure your group implements Ramblers Restart guidance and adheres to Scottish Government and sportscotland guidelines.

We suggest walk programme coordinators (with support from group chairs or committees) take on this role. If your group is keeping up to date with latest Scottish Government and Ramblers Scotland advice, you’re already doing the most important part of this role.

Download the Ramblers Scotland Covid Officer role description.

How can I record my volunteer role on Assemble?

Send you name, role and group to Copy in your group chair or secretary and let us know your membership number if you have one. 

Alternatively, walk programme coordinators can also send a list of all the walk leaders in the group to record everyone in one go.

Coronavirus - what are the restrictions in my area?
Events. training and AGMs
Path maintenance, guidance for volunteers