Being a walk leader


Choose the route 

● Consider the location, length and timing, whether linear or circular. We usually like circular routes, but linear is possible if public transport allows.
● Consider season, terrain, climbs, likely ability and fitness of the group. If you don't know about the group, most people in the group can walk for 8 miles or so and manage some gradients, ie moderate.
● The route you chose may be one you already know, taken from a map or guidebook. Consider points of interest on the route. See our list of regular walks over the years. One of these may suit you.

● Check car parks for central meeting point, refreshments and toilets. Even with car sharing, there can be upwards of 10 cars.

Recce the route (preferably with a backmarker) 

●  Walk  the full route, noting critical navigation points, hazards and problems, adjusting the route if necessary. Check timings, rest and toilet points, escape or alternative routes, any access restrictions and mobile phone coverage.

Send your walk to our Walks Coordinator. We ask for contributions to our walks programme twice a year, May and November. Our walks programme runs from February to July, and August to January. You will be asked for an OS reference number and the grade of the walk



● Check weather forecasts, and review route if necessary. Be prepared to cancel if weather is too bad. 

● Check personal gear and first aid kit.
● Charge mobile phone.
● Be prepared to answer queries from potential attendees. 


Our Group asks walkers to carry an emergency contact number and medical details in the top of their bag. Invite declarations from anyone who may have difficulty completing the walk. This allows anyone with a medical condition to bring it to your attention in private.

●  Be early and welcoming, particularly to newcomers.

Where appropriate check the equipment of the party and be prepared to turn people away if circumstances demand.

●  Appoint a backmarker if you don’t already have one. Swap mobile phone numbers.

●  Introduce yourself and the backmarker and give details of the walk: the route, estimated finish time, refreshment stops and points of interest.

●  Highlight your expectations of walkers and any places where particular care is needed.

●  Count the party and signal the start of the walk.


●  Frequently check that you can see your backmarker or have communication with them. Allow for re-grouping as required.

●  Set a pace to suit the fitness and capabilities of the party and advertised grade of the walk.

●  Check your route frequently if necessary using the map and/or compass.

●  Make a point of chatting to any newcomers.

●  Highlight any points of interest.

●  Manage the party over stiles, through gates and forests, in poor weather and across roads. Periodically count the number to ensure everyone is present.

●  Be alert to any problems with individuals, weather, road walking or crossings.

●  Importantly – enjoy the walk!

At the end of the walk

●  Check everyone has returned and can get home and thank them for coming.

●  Encourage non-members to join.


● Report any path problems to the relevant Group Officer.