Walk leadership in Scotland

Since 2017, our Scottish Walk Leadership Project has been helping us recognise and build upon the talents of our wonderful walk leader volunteers.

The project is boosting the hands-on training we offer to our 1,200 walk leaders – which in turn helps groups run more diverse and attractive walks programmes.

There is a wide range of ways for new, experienced and potential walk leaders to improve their skills via the project. Our free courses focus on topics including First Aid, Navigation, Walk Leader Essentials and Mentorship. 

We’ve a rolling programme of courses across Scotland, for any volunteers who want to get involved.

Find the course
for you here!

The training courses explained:

  • Walk Leader Essentials and Next Steps is a two-part course covering the ethos behind being a Ramblers walk leader and the practicalities, legal requirements, ideas and skills needed for planning and leading a walk.
  • Walk Leader Mentors gives you all you need to be a great mentor who can support and encourage new walk leaders to grow in confidence.
  • Navigation includes use of compasses, maps, pacing, navigation strategies, recognising errors, and methods for managing navigational risks.  There are 3 levels of navigation training available.
  • First Aid covers the principles of outdoor first aid, safety, basic life support and CPR in an easy and logical manner.

Why is the project needed?

About one in five of our members lead walks, and this free training is an excellent opportunity to support them in this valuable volunteering role. 

Meanwhile, an internal evaluation in 2013 found that our groups need a diverse portfolio of walks to attract new members and maintain interest. And a previous independent report by Bob Barton highlighted the need for the Ramblers to support our volunteers to grow their skills.

We were delighted by the demand and positive feedback during the initial pilot of the project during 2017. Ongoing on courses shows how much our volunteers value the training being offered. 

What has the project achieved?

By spring 2019: 

  • Over 500 people have taken part in project training courses
  • Over 60 training courses have been delivered
  • 95% would recommend the training to new walk leaders
  • 93% of attendees rated the courses as good or excellent
  • Over 50 volunteer mentors have been trained to support new walk leaders
  • Seven volunteer trainers have been recruited to deliver the Walk Leadership Essentials and Next Steps courses.

For more information, email walkleadership@ramblers.org.uk or call us on 0131 357 5850.