Ramblers have developed many good practice procedures in leading walks, perhaps
even without realising it. Examples include:
- Walk "recce-ing": (walk leaders walking the proposed route prior to the walk
date to familiarise themselves and to check for any obstacles or diversions)
- Welcome and introduction to the walk: Addressing all walkers at the beginning
of the walk to tell them how far it is and how long it should take, what the terrain
is like, whether there are any parts where walkers should take particular care
(eg. crossing a busy road) and being clear about how to leave gates.
- Know who is in your group and ensure that the group stays together. Appoint a
back-marker for larger groups to keep the party together and do not take more
people than you feel comfortable leading. If people wish to leave the walk by
walking on ahead or finishing early, make it clear that they must let you know and
that they understand your responsibility as leader ends when they leave the main
- If you are unable to lead your arranged walk, please exchange as soon as possible
From an insurance point of view, it is important to stress that while some practices are encouraged because they are good, their absence does not necessarily mean that there has been negligence.Anyone wishing to make an insurance claim against the Ramblers has to demonstrate negligence or wilful harm. This will be easier to do if a walk leader clearly did not know where they were going, if he/she failed to give any information to walkers at the beginning about length and difficulty of the walk, or if he/she clearly paid no attention to keeping the group together.
Summary of Insurance Cover
The insurance is for civil liability and only covers claims made by a third party. It does not cover accidents, personal injuries or medical care. Walkers should make their own arrangements to cover these.
The following guidelines are issued by the Ramblers Association for local groups - they do not necessarily apply to affiliated groups such as the Holy Spirit Rambling Group.
- Walks are covered by the insurance as long as the leader is a member of the
Ramblers and the walk is a recognised Group or Area activity.
- Non-members can take part in a number of led walks but cannot lead walks.
- The insurers do not require a formal risk assessment for each walk to be
carried out nor a register of walkers to be kept.