SKELMERSDALE RAMBLING CLUB

Skelmersdale Rambling Club

GENERAL GUIDANCE FOR WALKS' LEADERS

General

Walk leaders are responsible for the general safety of their group and should ensure that anyone joining their group is adequately equipped and prepared for the planned walk. A leader has the right (supported by the club) to refuse to take any walker who, in the leader's opinion, is inadequately clothed or shod or whose capability is doubtful.

The leader is also responsible for ensuring that their group is equipped with a first aid kit, supplied by the club, or an equivalent of their own. After seeking advice from the Red Cross the club's kits contain an assortment of dressings to deal with a range of injuries from a blister to an eye injury. Each kit also has a survival blanket, also a little whistle and a small torch with a flashing mode to help direct the emergency services.

As a general rule our walks are:- strenuous, 10-13 miles, climbing approx. 1500 ft, moderate 8-9 miles, climbing up to 1000ft, leisurely 6-7 miles climbing up to 700 ft and finally easy 4-5 miles climbing up to 300 -400 ft. The mileage planned should take into account the general terrain of the area and the time available, i.e. walks with lots of ascent and descent would be expected to be shorter than a flatter walk.

When a linear walk is planned with a group leaving the coach before the final destination the leader should make this clear in the walk notes, and the leader should ensure that all members of the group are aware of where the coach will be parked for the pick up at the end of the day. The drop off for the linear walk should only be planned for a place that does not involve a change to the normal/expected journey, and should always take place in a location where the coach can be pulled off the road for safe disembarking. All linear walks should be planned to finish at the designated coach parking place. It is also important that the club secretary is told in advance of the plans so that the coach company can be informed beforehand. Only the secretary should contact the coach company.

Large scale Ordnance Survey maps are available from the walks' coordinator, and there is also available a complete collection of written previous walk notes, and also those for the last ten years or so are now available on the club's website. If a leader is looking for walk ideas from the internet, a book or from tourist information please bear in mind that some walk notes from these sources might be several years old and some information might be out of date.

A mileage allowance (currently up to 25p a mile) is available for reccee trips. Parking and other necessary expenses may also be claimed, but please do not incur unnecessary expenses. Ask the walks' coordinator or the treasurer for a claims form, or use the claim form on the club's website.

Except where a group is very small it is always advisable for a member of the group to act as back marker to encourage stragglers and to keep count and make sure that no one is getting left behind.

Coach Leader

The leader of the moderate group also acts as coach leader and should occupy the front near side seat on the coach to be on hand to give directions to the driver. It is the coach leader's responsibility to do a 'head count' on the outward journey, and before departure for home to ensure that everyone is back on the coach.

It is also the moderate leader's responsibility to assess the suitable place for parking the coach, locate the nearest toilets and find out the coach parking charge. This information, along with a brief route, should be passed on to the walks' coordinator who will then inform the other walks' leaders. However, usually in practice the first leader who reccees finds out the information about the coach parking and the toilets, but, it is still important that the moderate leader knows the way to the coach park in order to give directions to the coach driver if necessary. When the moderate leader has ascertained the parking charges they must inform the booking officer in advance as thee charges must be paid on arrival and can vary a great deal from place to place.

Reconnoitering and Coach Notes

Each leader should carefully plan and 'recce' their walk, taking note of any obstacles such as awkward stiles, stream crossings, marshy ground etc. Due allowance should be made for large parties when estimating the length of time a walk will take. The walk should be planned to permit a reasonable finish time so as to allow time for refreshments and also not to delay the coach departure.

A short description of the planned walk should be prepared and sent to the coach notes secretary at least one week before the walk but preferably ten days before. These notes are an essential part of our club notes and are greatly valued by the members. Information of where the route will go, and the general terrain such as woodland, fields or riverside etc, along with steepness, views, number of stiles and amount of mud to expect is greatly appreciated by walkers and assists them in choosing which walk to join.

17.09.2015


© Skelmersdale Rambling Club 2015
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