Coronavirus - the latest Ramblers advice for supporters, members and volunteers

29 May 2020

We are reviewing our guidance regularly in response to the latest government advice. Our priority remains to protect the health of our members, volunteers and staff and help to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus.   

Latest Government Guidance 

New guidance is being announced by governments in England, Scotland and Wales, easing restrictions on the number of people you can meet outside. 

We are awaiting more details of how exactly the guidance will apply to walkers across all three nations and will update this statement on Monday, 1st June once official guidance has been published.   

In the meantime, we are working to ensure we are able to provide walkers with clear information on what is possible and permissible in the current phase of lockdown measures being eased.   

All Ramblers group walks and activities remain suspended until further notice. 
 

If you or anyone in your household has Coronavirus symptoms, you should continue to self-isolate. If you are clinically vulnerable (i.e. over 70 or with a listed underlying health condition) you are advised to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household. 

The current government advice depends on whether you are in England, Wales or Scotland, as follows:

England

In England, until 1st June:

  • You can exercise outdoors as often as you like alone, with members of your household.
  • You can also exercise with one other person from outside your household, while keeping two metres apart.
  • You may drive to outdoor open spaces, irrespective of distance, but should follow social distancing guidance whilst you are there.  

In addition, the Ramblers urges all walkers in England to:

  • Be sensitive to rural communities if considering travelling further from home to walk. 
  • Avoid activities that may result in injury or require emergency services support, especially in remote locations. 
  • Be aware that popular locations like National Parks or the coast may be very busy, making social distancing difficult. 
  • Plan ahead, as some sites and facilities may be closed or have restrictions. 
  • Respect the rules in Scotland and Wales and do not travel to different parts of the UK.

In many cases, the best option will be to stay local and explore the local area on foot.

Wales

In Wales, until 1st June: 

  • You can exercise outdoors as often as you like, as long you observe physical distancing rules and are alone or with members of your household. 
  • You must continue to stay local and any exercise should start and end at home and not involve going a significant distance from home. 
  • Many locations remain closed to visitors, including a number of popular beauty spots and visitor sites throughout Wales. 

Scotland

In Scotland, walkers should continue to stay local. By exercising near our own communities, we can help reduce the spread of the disease and the pressure on rural communities and emergency services.  
 
Scottish Government guidelines say that from Friday 29 May, you can travel up to about five miles for exercise before starting out. Read more  
 
In addition, walkers should:

  • Be prepared 
    Some hotspots could be busy and facilities such as car parks, shops and especially toilets may be closed or access reduced, so plan ahead before setting out - including checking the relevant website for your destination. 
  • Be safe 
    Support our NHS, emergency services and rescue teams by avoiding riskier outings and abiding by the latest guidance including on hygiene and physical distancing – particularly if you choose to meet one other household outdoors, in groups of up to eight people in total.  

Walk responsibly

Wherever you live, we urge all walkers to respect the interests of all people who use the outdoors, avoid crowded areas, practice social distancing and wash your hands regularly.

Be considerate to others and make sure you follow the Countryside Code (England and Wales) and Scottish Outdoor Access Code. You should:

  • leave gates as you find them
  • keep dogs under close control
  • follow advice on local signs
  • take litter home.

Where possible, you should also:

  • avoid touching gates and railings with your hands
  • consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools, where social distancing may be difficult
  • consider avoiding popular locations and times of day if you can

Know where you can walk

Guidance is changing regularly and the rules for accessing the outdoors differ in England, Wales and Scotland. For an overview of the situation in each nation, including any restrictions on public access, click here.If you are concerned that a path has been blocked illegally or restrictions have been put in place unlawfully, please report this to your local authority. 

We urge all walkers to stay local, to follow social distancing guidance and to walk safely, responsibly and considerately.

Questions

We are working to keep our members, volunteers and partners updated with the latest information on our response to COVID-19 virus via our usual communications channels. This webpage will be updated with the latest information, and will support members and volunteers in communicating how Ramblers GB is responding to the COVID-19 virus.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

About COVID-19

What is Covid-19? 

You can find information on Covid-19 including latest advice from the NHS here.

What’s the best way to minimise the spread of the virus?

You can help to minimise the spread of the virus by avoiding any non-essential travel and social interaction.

Remember to:

  • Catch coughs and sneezes in a tissue and dispose of them immediately
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly, for at least 20 seconds (or use alcohol-based hand sanitiser gel if not available)
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell

If you, or anyone in your household experience symptoms, the latest government advice is for you to self-isolate for seven days, plus anyone in your household to self-isolate for 14 days – or seven days from the point they show Covid-19 symptoms.

We recommend keeping up to date with the latest NHS advice.

I think I might have coronavirus – what should I do?

If you have a high temperature or continuous cough (however mild), the latest advice is to self-isolate for seven days, and for anyone in your household to self-isolate for 14 days (or seven days from the point they show Covid-19 symptoms). This means staying at home, avoiding public places and group activities.

If your condition gets worse, you feel can’t cope with your symptoms at home, or your symptoms do not get better, please contact the NHS coronavirus service online, or by calling 111.

Ramblers offices

Will Ramblers offices close?

We’re following the latest government updates and NHS advice closely – our offices are now closed with Ramblers staff working from home.  We’re putting plans and processes in place so that we can continue to support to members and volunteers.

Please bear with us over the next few weeks as we get used to the new arrangements – and get in touch if you have any questions or concerns.

Please contact your local office via email in the normal way.  If you are not sure who to contact, please email coronavirus@ramblers.zendesk.com.

FAQs for Ramblers Members

Are all Ramblers group walks cancelled?

Yes – Ramblers GB has suspended all face-to-face group activities including led group walks and social events until further notice. Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our members, volunteers and staff, and we want to do our part to help suppress the spread of COVID-19. We understand that some people may be unhappy about this decision, however Ramblers activities are stopping for now in line with government advice. 

We are updating our guidance regularly, and will keep you updated with the latest on our response to COVID-19 on this page: www.ramblers.org.uk/coronavirus.  

Does this mean I can’t walk?  

Walking is a great way to stay healthy and you can continue to walk outdoors for exercise  however there are some differences in government advice, depending on whether you live in England, Scotland or Wales.

In Scotland or Wales – you can now exercise outdoors as often as you like, as long you observe physical distancing rules, and are alone or with members of your household.

In England – from Wednesday 13 May you can exercise outdoors as often as you like alone, or with members of your household. You can also exercise with one other person from outside your household, while keeping two metres apart.

If you are clinically vulnerable (i.e. over 70 or with a listed underlying health condition) you are advised to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household.

In many cases, the best option will be to stay local and explore the local area on foot. But if you do decide to go further, please be sensitive to rural communities, avoid activities that may result in injury or require emergency services support, and be aware that popular locations like National Parks may be very busy, making social distancing difficult. 

For the latest advice, please see the latest Ramblers statement at the top of this page. 

You mention that all Ramblers group walks are cancelled, but my group is still walking

We informed all Ramblers groups that group walks would need to be cancelled until further notice, following the latest government advice. Any group walks taking place are not official Ramblers walks, and you will not be covered by insurance.

I don’t agree with this decision

The Ramblers has cancelled all face-to-face group activities including led group walks and social events until further notice, as we are following the government advice that we should all be avoiding all unnecessary social contact. We understand that not all members or volunteers will agree with this decision, but our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our members, volunteers and staff – and we want to do our best to help suppress the spread of the virus.

Please see our advice above in respect to walking independently.

If we stay a safe distance from each other, can we continue walking together?

We informed all Ramblers groups that group walks would need to be cancelled until further notice, following the latest government advice. Any group walks taking place are not official Ramblers walks, and you will not be covered by insurance.

Please see our advice above in respect to walking independently.

Can I pause my membership? / Are you offering extensions to membership? / Refunds?

We are not offering the options for refunds/extensions/option to pause membership. 

Ramblers membership protects our green spaces, our rights as walkers and helps others to discover the powerful benefits of walking.   

We hope you’ll continue to stand with us as an active member of the Ramblers. 

You’ll continue to receive Walk magazine, access back-copies of Walk magazine, receive discounts on walking gear and have access to independent walks to explore. During lockdown we are continuing to provide advice on staying active if you are having to self-isolate, as well as more tips and support on independent walking – which you’ll find on our Facebook page as well as in our regular member emails

At this time, more than ever, as a wonderful community of members we know you will reach out to support each other in new ways, as we all feel the impact of this unprecedented challenge.  

What about Walking for Health?

Walking for Health is England’s largest network of health walks with over 360 active walking schemes, helping people across the country lead a more active lifestyle. We’ve done this with great success for over 14 years, improving the mental and physical wellbeing of thousands of people. 
 
We’ve taken the decision to suspend all group walks and activities until further notice – including Walking for Health. 
 
If you have any questions about Walking for Health, please contact the team by email: walkingforhealth@ramblers.org.uk 

Are Ramblers offices closed?

The Ramblers offices remain closed, so please get in touch with us by phone or email rather than post wherever possible.

We are continuing to provide support to members and volunteers remotely until further notice.  It may take a little longer for us to respond to your enquiry – thank you for your patience at this time.

FAQs for Ramblers volunteers in group, area and walking roles

Do we need to cancel our group walks and local events?

Yes – Ramblers GB has suspended all face-to-face group activities until further notice. This includes led group walks, Walking for Health schemes, all face-to-face training and meetings, path maintenance working groups, path warden and path adoption schemes, coach trips, holidays and social events.  

Our top priority is the health and wellbeing of our members, volunteers and staff, and we want to do our part to help suppress the spread of COVID-19. We understand that some people may be unhappy about this decision, however Ramblers activities are stopping for now in line with government advice.

Any group walks or events which continue to be organised locally will not be considered Ramblers activities and will not be covered by the Ramblers insurance.

What advice should I give to members and volunteers in my group?

We are updating our guidance regularly, and will keep you updated with the latest on our response to COVID-19 on this page: www.ramblers.org.uk/coronavirus. 

It would be great if you can support us by reinforcing the decision to suspend group activities. Please also update your group or area website. We recommend using the following text:

All of our group walks and events have been suspended until further notice. Our top priority is the health of our members and volunteers – and we want to do our part to help suppress the spread of COVID-19. Please visit the Ramblers website for updates: www.ramblers.org.uk/coronavirus

Does this affect Ramblers insurance for members and volunteers?

Any led group walks, social events or path maintenance work parties which continue to be organised locally will not be considered Ramblers activities. This means that they will not be covered by the Ramblers insurance.This applies until further notice, subject to developments.

How do I cancel a group walk?

If your group or area has walks planned, there are a few steps you need to take:

  • Get in touch with walk leaders to let them know that all upcoming activities have been suspended. This applies until further notice, subject to developments.
  • Add a note to your area or group website, pointing members towards the latest updates on the Ramblers website: www.ramblers.org.uk/coronavirus
  • Check that any upcoming walks or events have been cancelled on the Group Walks and Events Manager (GWEM).

We will automatically add the word ‘Cancelled’ to the title of all walks, until 30th June in the first instance. We will review this on a monthly basis, as the situation develops. 

There is no need to manually cancel walks on GWEM, however we encourage you to update the walk description with any further information that you’d like to share with your members. This information will also feed through into the Ramblers app. Please do not add any new walks or events to GWEM.

I’m booked onto a Walk Leadership training this summer – is it going ahead?

All Ramblers training events have been suspended, until further notice. If you are booked on to a course in the coming weeks, the Ramblers delivery team will be in touch soon with more information. Local training events are considered group activities, and must also stop until further notice.

What about Walking for Health?

Walking for Health is England’s largest network of health walks with over 360 active walking schemes, helping people across the country lead a more active lifestyle. We’ve done this with great success for over 14 years, improving the mental and physical wellbeing of thousands of people.

We’ve taken the decision to suspend all group walks and activities until further notice – including Walking for Health.

If you have any questions about Walking for Health, please contact the team by email: walkingforhealth@ramblers.org.uk

Can path maintenance activities continue?

No – Ramblers GB has suspended all face-to-face group activities until further notice. This includes path maintenance volunteering. Any work parties which continue to be organised locally will not be considered Ramblers activities and will not be covered by the Ramblers insurance.

Can individual volunteering activities continue (such as path warden and path adoption schemes)?

We’re reviewing individual volunteering activities in light of additional guidance due from the government, and will provide an update in due course. However until further notice, all Ramblers activities which take place in groups or outside the home must stop – they will not be considered Ramblers activities and will not be covered by the Ramblers insurance.

Can we continue other group activities virtually?

Some volunteering activities don’t need to take place face-to-face, and these can continue - for example, online campaigning, creating volunteer newsletters or developing Ramblers Routes.  

Area and group committees could also consider meeting virtually, using online tools such as Zoom, Whatsapp or Skype.  If you want to know more about connecting in this way, take a look at our guide on how to organise a meeting online.

Can I still go for a walk independently?

Yes – however there are some differences in government advice, depending on whether you live in England, Scotland or Wales.

In Scotland or Wales – you can now exercise outdoors as often as you like, as long you observe physical distancing rules, and are alone or with members of your household. 

In England – from Wednesday 13th May you can exercise outdoors as often as you like alone, or with members of your household. You can also exercise with one other person from outside your household, while keeping two metres apart. 

If you are clinically vulnerable (i.e. over 70 or with a listed underlying health condition) you are advised to take particular care to minimise contact with others outside your household.

For more information please see the latest Ramblers statement at the top of this page.

I want to contact a staff member at the Ramblers – how do I do this?

Please contact your local office via email in the normal way. If you’re not sure who to contact, please email coronavirus@ramblers.zendesk.com or phone 020 3961 3180.

Our offices are now closed, and Ramblers staff are working from home. We have also decided to take part in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme which the government introduced in March 2020. 

For all volunteers this means that less staff will be available to ask about your Ramblers activities, and some work is being paused. The reduced staff team will continue to support members and volunteers. However it may take us longer than usual to answer some queries, as we adapt to the changes – please bear with us over the next few weeks.

 

FAQs for footpath officers and environmental protection volunteers (countryside officers)

Do we need to stop our roles as Footpath Officers, Environmental protection volunteers (countryside officers) etc?

The Ramblers has suspended all group walks and volunteer activities in line with government advice to delay the spread of coronavirus. The situation is constantly changing and we will keep you updated with any further changes in Ramblers policy.

Update as of 11 May 2020

We are asking all Ramblers’ volunteers to use the countryside only for personal exercise and (in England) recreation, and not for Ramblers activities. Any path or issues encountered when walking outdoors for these purposes should be reported to the Highway Authority in the usual way.

Footpath officers and other public access volunteers are asked not to undertake any Ramblers volunteer activities outside the home except in the very specific circumstance described below:

  • In England-only: where the highway authority has directly asked you to undertake a site visit

Please note that no site visits should be undertaken if they involve using public transport. You should only visit sites you can get to on foot, bicycle or in your car if you have one and where social distancing can be maintained. You should follow government guidance on social distancing and not undertake any activities that put yourself and others at risk. Please note that the current government advice varies by nation and for groups considered clinically vulnerable or extremely clinically vulnerable.

Activities that are suspended include but are not limited to:

  • Rights of way committee and group meetings
  • All site visits, including on foot, except in the limited circumstance above 
  • Attendance at all face-to-face external meetings - for example: Planning Inspectorate (PINS) hearings and local authority meetings. If the meeting is held remotely without face-to-face contact you are able to attend.

We will keep this advice under review as the situation and government advice evolves. 

Can landowners close paths due to Coronavirus?

Guidance on public access and the rules for accessing the outdoors differ in England, Wales and Scotland. For an overview of the situation in each nation click here. If you are concerned that a path has been blocked illegally or restrictions have been put in place unlawfully, please report this to your highway authority.

Advice for footpath officers in England

In England, rules around path closures remain as normal. That means that landowners and local authorities do not have the legal right to block or obstruct public rights of way or access land. 

Defra and Natural have advised that landowners can display polite notices asking the public to respect social distancing measures and consider providing alternative routes that do not run through gardens, schools or farmyards, where social distancing may be difficult. Where such notices are displayed, they should not suggest that the path is closed and paths should not be obstructed. 

Find out more:

Will councils still be undertaking enforcement work and site visits?

The Ramblers is aware that some councils have stopped undertaking site visits and rights of way officers are now working from home. Others have ramped up operations in order to keep the path network open to support local people to access amenities and undertake daily exercise. 

If you haven’t already, you can check your local authority’s website or email your local authority contact to find out what their approach is.

Can I still submit notices and applications to the council? 

We recognise that priorities have changed for local authorities as they respond to the Covid-19 pandemic in their areas, and with reduced staff numbers. 

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we are advising our volunteers to:

  • pause the submission of applications for Definitive Map Modification Orders (DMMOs) to add new paths to the map unless the relevant highway authority have indicated they are actively processing applications during this time or if there is an urgent threat to the proposed path being applied for (for instance a likely planning application).  
  • postpone issuing notices to councils which require a time-limited response, such as those issued under Section 130a or Section 56 of the Highways Act 1980. 

As part of our Don’t Lose Your Way project we are encouraging volunteers to continue to gather historical evidence and prepare applications for submission after the crisis.

Will councils still be issuing path orders and other consultations?

Many councils have suspended the making of new orders, although a few are still being made. During April, the Department for Transport suspended National Casework orders. These were restarted at the beginning of May. We will continue to send consultations to relevant volunteers by email and Assemble. Please note that Ramblers’ activities that take place outside the home – such as site visits - are currently suspended.

Path Orders may arrive by post at the Ramblers office – we are currently unable to check and forward these notices. If you are concerned about missing notices we advise volunteers to contact your local authority to check if you are missing any notices.

What about hearings and inquiries?

We expect that most rights of way hearings/inquiries will be postponed but if you were due to attend a public inquiry or hearing and it hasn’t been postponed, please read the Planning Inspectorate’s advice to see whether you could deliver your evidence via electronic channels.

What should I do if I am unwell or unable to respond to a consultation because of self-isolation or coronavirus symptoms?

Your health is our primary concern and we ask that you follow government advice if you find yourself experiencing symptoms of the new coronavirus.

If you are well and have a made order which you are unable to investigate or respond to, please let us know and we will issue a holding objection to the order making authority. As you know, this means they will not be able to confirm the order until the objection has been withdrawn. We will ask local authorities to be lenient with consultation deadlines where the law allows and to put off submitting orders to the secretary of state until we have been able to investigate the order and decide whether to withdraw the holding objection.

The local advocacy team will continue to work our normal hours from home and are available to assist as usual. You can contact the team at policy@ramblers.org.uk

Previous statements

11 May 2020

We are reviewing our guidance regularly in response to the latest government advice. Our priority remains to protect the health of our members, volunteers and staff and help to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

All Ramblers group walks and activities remain suspended until at least 31 May. 

Latest Government advice

It is clear that Coronavirus has not gone away, and we need to continue to help control the virus to save lives.  Although there are some changes to government guidance, the lockdown is still in force across the UK. 

We recommend that you continue to stay at home as much as possible, stay local and consider walking at quieter times and locations where physical distancing may be easier.  Whilst we understand the temptation for some to drive to your favourite walking spot, we urge our members and all walkers to continue to take extra care and to walk responsibly (see more detail below).  If you or anyone in your household has Coronavirus symptoms, you should continue to self-isolate.

Over the weekend, the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments confirmed changes to their guidance in relation to walking and exercise as part of the next phase of the Covid-19 response. The governments will provide more detail in the coming days and we will update our guidance accordingly.

England

In England, it has been confirmed that from Wednesday 13 May:

  • Exercise can take place outdoors as often as you like, as long you observe physical distancing rules and are alone or with members of your household.
  • You can, if you wish, drive to other destinations to exercise. Again, you must follow social distancing guidelines and be alone or with members of your household. 

Wales

In Wales, it has been confirmed, from today:

  • Exercise can take place outdoors as often as you like, as long you observe physical distancing rules and are alone or with members of your household.
  • People must continue to stay local and any exercise should start and end at home and not involve going a significant distance from home.

Many locations remain closed to visitors, including a number of popular beauty spots and visitor sites throughout Wales.

Scotland

In Scotland, it has been confirmed, from today:

  • Exercise can take place outdoors as often as you like, as long you observe physical distancing rules and are alone or with members of your household.
  • Exercise should be done in your local area. You should not drive to beauty spots, parks or beaches.
  • High risk exercise (that may result in injury and require medical care or emergency services support) should be avoided.
  • However, if you (or a person in your care) have a specific health condition that requires you to leave the home to maintain your health - including if that involves travel beyond your local area - then you can do so.

Walk responsibly

Wherever you live, we urge all walkers to respect the interests of all people who use the outdoors, avoid crowded areas, practice social distancing and wash your hands regularly.

Be considerate to others and make sure you follow the Countryside Code (England and Wales) and Scottish Outdoor Access Code. You should:

  • leave gates as you find them
  • keep dogs under close control
  • follow advice on local signs
  • take litter home.

Where possible, you should also:

  • avoid touching gates and railings with your hands
  • consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools, where social distancing may be difficult
  • consider avoiding popular locations and times of day if you can

Know where you can walk

Guidance is changing regularly and the rules for accessing the outdoors differ in England, Wales and Scotland. For an overview of the situation in each nation, including any restrictions on public access, click here.If you are concerned that a path has been blocked illegally or restrictions have been put in place unlawfully, please report this to your local authority. 

We urge all walkers to stay local, to follow social distancing guidance and to walk safely, responsibly and considerately.

Questions

We are working to keep our members, volunteers and partners updated with the latest information on our response to COVID-19 virus via our usual communications channels. This webpage will be updated with the latest information, and will support members and volunteers in communicating how Ramblers GB is responding to the COVID-19 virus.

15 April 2020 

We are reviewing and updating our guidance regularly in response to the latest government advice. Our priority remains to protect the health of our members, volunteers and staff and help to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus. All Ramblers walks and activities have been cancelled until at least 31 May. 

Stay at home 

Government advice is to stay at home as much as possible to reduce the spread of the virus.  Do not meet others, even friends or family. You can spread the virus even if you don’t have symptoms. You should: 

  • Only go outside for food, health reasons or work (but only if you cannot work from home)
  • You can also still go outside once a day for a walk, run or cycle but please do so safely (see below)
  • If you go out, stay 2 metres (6ft) away from other people at all times (Please follow the latest government guidance on social distancing).
  • Wash your hands as soon as you get home 

Walk safely

If you chose to walk as your daily exercise, you should: 

  • stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily
  • only go outside alone or with members of your own household
  • keep at least 2 metres (6ft) apart from anyone outside your household 
  • if you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside – for example, avoid touching gates and railings with your hands - and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors
  • if walking your dog in areas used by other people, you should walk your dog on a lead to ensure you can safely keep 2 metres away from others. You can find further guidance for pet owners here.

Walk responsibly

We urge all walkers to respect the interests of all people who use the outdoors and follow government advice to only to walk locally, for a short period of daily exercise, to avoid crowded areas and to practice social distancing. 

If you are walking in local countryside from your doorstep, it is vital to walk responsibly. Be considerate to others and make sure you follow the Countryside Code (England and Wales) and Access Code (Scotland). You should:

  • leave gates as you find them
  • keep dogs under close control
  • follow advice on local signs
  • take litter home.

Where possible, you should also:

  • avoid touching gates and railings with your hands
  • consider using alternative routes that do not pass through gardens, farmyards or schools, where social distancing may be difficult
  • consider avoiding popular locations and times of day if you can

Know where you can walk

The Ramblers has received queries from people concerned about path closures or access restrictions close to where they live. These closures can, in some cases, limit opportunities for people to exercise locally from their doorstep or access essential amenities.

Guidance is changing regularly and the rules for accessing the outdoors differ in England, Wales and Scotland. For an overview of the situation in each nation, including any restrictions on public access, click here.

If you are concerned that a path has been blocked illegally or restrictions have been put in place unlawfully, please report this to your local authority. Read our overview of how COVID-19 is affecting public access in England, Wales and Scotland via the link above.

We urge all walkers to follow social distancing guidance and walk safely, responsibly and considerately.

Questions

We are working to keep our members, volunteers and partners updated with the latest information on our response to COVID-19 virus via our usual communications channels. This webpage will be updated with the latest information, and will support members and volunteers in communicating how Ramblers GB is responding to the COVID-19 virus.

The best way to contact us is to first check the website link for information. If you still have questions, please get in touch via coronavirus@ramblers.zendesk.com and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that our offices are closed, with Ramblers staff working from home.

Thank you for your continued support.

The Ramblers has been around for a long time, through the tough days and the bright days. We will continue to fight for the rights of walkers, for the protection of our important green spaces and for the joys of walking. Together we’re stronger. Thank you for standing with us at this difficult time.

9 April 2020

We are reviewing our guidance daily in response to the latest government advice. Our priority is to protect the health of our members, volunteers and staff and help to suppress the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

UK Government advice issued on 23 March 2020 remains in place. To limit the spread of Coronavirus, people should stay at home except for:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day – for example a walk, run or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary.

If you are in a household with COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate at home. Those aged 70 or older and those with pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk from COVID-19 are particularly advised to practice social distancing. Please see Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing.

If you choose to walk as your form as exercise, please use the following guidance in order to stay safe:

  • stay local and use open spaces near to your home where possible – do not travel unnecessarily
  • you should only go outside alone or with members of your own household
  • keep at least 2 metres (6ft) apart from anyone outside your household at all times
  • gatherings of more than two in parks or other public spaces have been banned and the police will enforce this
  • if you have a garden, make use of the space for exercise and fresh air
  • take hygiene precautions when you are outside, and wash your hands as soon as you are back indoors

We have received an increasing number of queries from people concerned about landowners closing paths or access to land close to where they live. Whilst everyone should be staying local to their homes, these closures can in some cases, limit opportunities for people to exercise locally or access essential amenities. Guidance is changing regularly and you can read our summary of the current rules around access during the Coronavirus lockdown here

We also have specific advice about Scottish access rights during COVID-19 here.

All Ramblers walks and social activities have been cancelled until at least 31 May.

Questions

We are working to keep our members, volunteers and partners updated with the latest information on our response to COVID-19 virus via our usual communications channels. This webpage will be updated with the latest information, and will support members and volunteers in communicating how Ramblers GB is responding to the COVID-19 virus.

The best way to contact us is to first check the website link for information. If you still have questions, please get in touch via coronavirus@ramblers.zendesk.com and we will aim to get back to you as soon as possible. Please note that our offices are closed, with Ramblers staff working from home.

Thank you for your continued support.

The Ramblers has been around for a long time, through the tough days and the bright days. We will continue to fight for the rights of walkers, for the protection of our important green spaces and for the joys of walking. Together we’re stronger. Thank you for standing with us at this difficult time. 

24 March 2020 

On Monday 23 March, the Government announced that people will only be allowed to leave their home for the following very limited purposes:

  • shopping for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible
  • one form of exercise a day – for example a walk, run or cycle – alone or with members of your household;
  • any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and
  • travelling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary.

In line with previous advice, if you choose to walk for exercise you are advised to only walk locally to where you live. You should walk alone or with people from your household. You should not walk with friends or in groups. Keep 2m (6ft) distance from anyone you pass on your walk.

If you are in a household with COVID-19 symptoms, you should self-isolate at home. Those aged 70 or older and those with pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk from COVID-19 are particularly advised to practice social distancing.

Please see Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing.

If you choose to walk locally for exercise, please:

  • Do not walk anywhere that you could get in to trouble and require the emergency services.
  • Avoid touching gates, fences etc. If you do, wash your hands as soon as possible.  

23 March 2020

On Wednesday 18 March, Ramblers GB had no choice but to suspend all group walks and social activities until at least 31 May 2020.

Our current guidance is as follows:

  • We encourage everyone to only walk locally to where you live. This means only walking in places that you can access without the use of a car or public transport. Avoid busy places including popular parks, beauty spots or beaches.
  • Ideally walk on your own or with people from your household, unless you are in a household with COVID-19 symptoms when you should self-isolate at home. Those aged 70 or older and those with pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk from COVID-19 should also self-isolate at home.
  • Keep 2m distance from anyone you meet during your walk.
  • Do not walk anywhere that you could get in to trouble and require the emergency services.
  • Avoid touching gates, fences etc. If you do, wash your hands as soon as possible.

17 March 2020

You will have seen the announcements made by the Government yesterday evening (Monday 16 March). We have been following Government advice and we continue to do so.  Our top priority is protecting the health of our members, volunteers and staff.  We also want to help suppress the spread of the Covid19 virus.  So, I want to update you on what the Ramblers is doing and what we need you to do. 

Ramblers GB is suspending the following activities from Wednesday 18 March until at least 31 May 2020 – subject to further developments:

  • all group led walks
  • all Ramblers Walking for Health schemes
  • all activities by Ramblers volunteers including training, path maintenance working groups, coach trips and holidays, meetings, group and social events
  • training for Ramblers
  • the Ramblers GB General Council conference due to be held in Bristol on 4-5 April.

Walking independently

Official Government advice states that, apart from people who are in households with symptoms or who have pre-existing health conditions that put them at increased risk from COVID-19, going for a walk independently can continue and is an excellent way to maintain health and wellbeing - provided independent walkers stay more than two metres from others. 

Please see Public Health England’s guidelines on social distancing.

For anyone walking in more remote areas, we continue to ask them to stay well within their limits, to avoid any need to call on mountain rescue or other emergency services.

Cows in a field

Covid 19, public access and footpaths

Guidance is changing regularly and the rules for accessing the outdoors differ in England, Wales and Scotland. For an overview of the situation in each nation - including any restrictions on public access - click here.