New Walking Guidelines

Walk leader and route considerations

In planning walks, start and finish times are aimed to be less busy for travelling. Leaders must be registered as a Ramblers volunteer and must not lead if they or someone from their household has Covid symptoms. They will do a risk assessment using the current Ramblers template at: https://www.ramblers.org.uk/advice/coronavirus/group-walks.aspx  and retain it for 36 months. They will check that:

  • There is sufficient parking for the number of participants
  • The route avoids busy roads and/or crosses at suitable places
  • Paths are suitable for the group to use safely, avoiding narrow routes and minimising the number of gates / stiles where possible

The Ramblers' walk leader should also use the above link as it contains a useful checklist and can be downloaded and printed. Alternatively, waterproof copies are available from walks coordinators. 

Walk leaders will also:

  • Welcome walkers at the start, mentioning personal hygiene, rules on distancing and not sharing food and equipment and advising regarding hazards along the route
  • Know their route and potential escape points
  • Bring a map, compass, first aid kit, whistle, fully charged mobile phone, face mask and hi-vis jacket if required
  • Give clear directions about which side of the road to walk on, whether a gate should be left open or closed, when the group will stop for food, drink and toilet breaks
  • Appoint a back marker for larger group sizes and check numbers when re-starting after a food or comfort stop
  • If there is an incident during the walk, follow the process described on the ‘In case of emergency and Incident Reporting’ tab
  • At the end of the walk remind everyone that anyone who develops Covid symptons within 48 hours should apply for a test and support NHS track and trace 

Walk participants

  • In joining a walk, participants agree to:

  • Follow current Government guidelines on travel and transport to the start of the walk
  • Bring hand sanitiser, suitable clothing and wear suitable footwear for the weather and walk location
  • Avoid sharing food, drink or equipment such as walking poles
  • Follow the Countryside Code, any local warning signs and avoid touching path furniture where possible
  • Keep in touch with those ahead and behind, but maintain physical distancing and walk in single file through cropped fields
  • Follow the walk leaders direction in relation to the pace of the walk and which side of the road to walk on
  • When allowed by the walk leader, keep dogs under close control at all times
  • Tell the back marker or another walker if you are dropping behind the group

Back markers additionally will:

  • Wear a hi-vis jacket when road walking
  • Keep everyone in front of them or know who is behind
  • Let the leader know if the group becomes too spread out

Please also see more general information regarding walking with the Totnes Ramblers under our ‘walking etiquette’ tab