Walk Leaders - Additional Guidance for Operation under Coronavirus Conditions

These notes are to supplement the information published by NDWG and by The Ramblers. They outline the how Notts Derby Walking group are operating, and what you need to know.

Before the Walk

Volunteering to lead

Contact the Walks Organiser to discuss the walk you are offering and any queries. Read through the Guidance for Walk Leaders.

If you are a first-timer, we can assist e.g. by buddying you up with someone to do your first walk reconnaissance (“recce”).

Please offer to lead in plenty of time for the walk to be properly advertised and, if you have not lead a walk recently (i.e. since March 2020), we need a few days to make sure you are properly recorded with Ramblers for insurance.


Check that the walk you are leading has been correctly advertised on the website, e.g.

  • Date
  • Start time
  • Length Route
  • Maximum Group Size

Risk assessments

At the time of this document, we are not asking walk leaders to fill out risk assessment forms themselves; we will do that for you. (Much of the information concerns the booking process, controlling numbers etc which we have already taken care of). We DO ask that you look at the risk assessment form and consider how it applies to your walk. If you spot anything on it that you think may apply and has not already been covered, contact the Walks Organiser so that we can record it on the form for you.

Walk organisation responsibility – IMPORTANT!!

Up until close of booking on Eventbrite, the Walks Organiser (and other committee if necessary) will manage the walk and deal with cancellations, walk leader unavailability due to sickness etc. Once booking has closed (at 7pm the day before the walk), you will be sent a list of attendees with contact details. Everyone booked will be contactable by email, some will have supplied mobile numbers. They will also have your mobile number (if you have supplied it and given permission for it to be sent to attendees) or your email address.

You are now in charge! If you need to cancel for any reason, or make a change, it is up to you to make that decision and contact those on the walk if need be. The walks organising team cannot be expected to be available late on weekend evenings and may not be contactable.

N.B. If at any time you find yourself down to 1 attendee because of late cancellations you MUST now contact that person and cancel the walk, as per policy on the NDWG website. If it is someone you know and they agree when you contact them, you may of course still arrange to walk but you are now as private individuals not as a Ramblers walk.

To summarise:

  • Up until close of booking, the Walk Organisers are responsible for arrangements.
  • After close of booking, you are.

On the walk

Walkers must pre-book (or cancel if their plans change)

  • Leader chooses maximum group size (up to 30).
  • Walks organiser sends attendee list to leader before walk.
  • Leader must turn away non-booked people.

Walks start on time

  • Leader’s discretion to wait for latecomers.
  • Cancel walk if “leader + 1”, even if you are both at the start point and ready to walk. This is for everyone’s safety.

Brief introduction before setting off

  • Introduce leader / say “hello”.
  • Appoint back marker, if relevant.
  • Outline the day:
    • Route summary
    • General plan, e.g. breaks
    • Approximate return time
    • Brief reminder of COVID measures, including how the group will deal with gates, roads and other “pinch points”.
    • Invite walkers to ask questions, being clear that you’re open to questions being asked privately.
    • Answer questions with patience and good humour.

Guests (non-members)

  • Explain they are welcome on 2-3 walks, then they should join Ramblers, ideally selecting NDWG.
  • Share your experiences.
  • Share member benefits, e.g.
    • Access to all Ramblers groups
    • Walk magazine
    • 15% discount at Cotswolds
    • NDWG weekends away

Gates, roads and other “pinch points”

Consider how you’ll deal with these, e.g. for gates, ideas include:

  • One person operates the gate, holiding it open at arm’s length
    • Only one person touches the gate.
    • Difficult to distance.
  • Each walker operates the gate separately.
    • 2m distancing is possible.
    • Everyone touches the gate, so more hand sanitising.

Other COVID measures

  • Walkers have been instructed on social distancing, self-sufficiency: PPE, snacks / drinks, clothes, poles, transport etc. A summary was sent with their booking confirmation.
  • If relevant, clarify why COVID measures are important.

After the walk

  • Please feed back any general comments and minor issues to the Walks Organiser – this helps us in learning and planning for the future. If there are any no-shows where people have not made reasonable effort to contact you, please let us know.
  • For any major incidents or near misses, please complete the relevant incident form.
  • Delete the attendee information that you were sent – this is important as it contains personal information.