News and Notes for Leaders - updated 31 December 2017
Leisurely and Moderate Walks - Clarification
31 Dec 2017 - Ramblers nationally calls walks Easy Access, Easy, Leisurely, Moderate, Strenuous and Technical. People can then search on their website for walks in these categories. SEE DETAILS HERE
In our South Cotswold group we just use the words Leisurely and Moderate.
Leisurely is a word we use just for our Monday walks ie 1.5 mph.
All our other walks are called Moderate ie 2 mph.
If you wish to take a Moderate walk slightly slower, I will need to call it Moderate but I can add Easy Paced to your walk description if you let me know.
Starting Places for walks
23 Dec 2017 - We already have a list of regular places that we have used or Group Walk starts, but Ramblers now have a facility to record starting places used by all Ramblers Groups (including our wordings). This might come in useful if you are planning walks a bit further away. http://places.walkinginfo.co.uk/
Please let me know if you find this useful - or otherwise!
Walks Offers Collection timetable
23 Nov 2017 - Speaking to some of our wonderful walks collectors and leaders, it has been expressed to me that we started collecting new offers much too early last time, and it seems pretty relentless not to have a pause. My apologies for this.
So next time I am thinking of setting dates so that there is a gap after the start of the new programme before we start collecting offers again, so that everyone can relax for a bit!
What do you think? I value your thoughts on this.
Resources for Leaders
Ramblers have now issued helpful new guidance for leaders old and new, and also ICE cards (In case of emergency). We shall be distributing these on our walks.
Now is the time for all leaders ....
.... to come to the aid of the amazing Group walks programme by volunteering walk dates for March to June 2018. See our Walk Planning Progress page.
If you need a particular date, first come, first served.
Please also tell us where you want to lead a walk, and it will be shown on the chart. This is very helpful for us to build a varied programme. If you offer a date and need time to think of a place, please let Mike know as soon as you have worked it out.
We will not need the full details until 25 January, but please reserve dates with the collectors by 31 December.
Parking charges at National Trust car parks
Leaders be aware when planning walks, and please advise Mike if/when charges change. Members need to display a current membership sticker.
The National Trust charge non-members £1 for an hour or £3 for a day at Shortwood (Cripplegate), near Haresfield Beacon and also Newark Park. At Sherborne the charges are £1 for 1 hour, £3 for up to 4 hours and £4 for over 4 hours. (31/05/17).
Welcome to Prospective Leaders
If you are playing with the idea of leading us a walk and haven't led before, please have an informal chat with one of us first. Perhaps you could team up with someone else to lead and back-mark together!
A few years ago we devised a very comprehensive Walk Planning and Leading Checklist. It is a little in need of revision, but is available to members in case you may find this useful.
Mike G - Walks Programme Coordinator 01453 873625
Safeguarding Policy - Children on Walks
Ramblers have now given all Groups guidance about children on Group Walks. It is very rare that we do see children on our walks, but leaders need to be aware of the new guidance in case anyone under 18 turns up on your walk.
The main change to Ramblers current policy is that, following lengthy consideration, everyone under 18 now needs to be accompanied by a responsible adult, such as a parent, guardian, teacher or youth worker when they participate in Ramblers walks and other activities. For full details see http://tinyurl.com/jbvajvm
Leisurely Monday Walks - Mondays 2 or 3 times a month
For the last few years we have been leading short (absolute top limit 4 miles), leisurely paced sociable walks on a Monday suitable for:-
1/ Those who are new to Ramblers and wish to build up their confidence and fitness before joining us on our other walks.
2/ Those who have been on Health Walks who want to move on to something slightly longer (but definitely no longer than 4 miles).
3/ Existing members for whom our normal walks programme is often too much.
4/ Any member who wants to sometimes amble rather than ramble, stop to admire the countryside, walk and talk, and possibly finish up with a half of shandy.
If anyone would like me to check their distance, give me a ring and I can measure it on my computer map. Mike 01453 873625
Walks with a Pub Meal at the end
At last November's AGM we discussed Pub Meals. After a healthy debate it was generally thought that our evening walks would continue with a start time of 18:30 (as last year) but would be best limited to a maximum of 3.5 miles if a pub meal was involved. When planning an evening walk, the leader should check for the latest time of serving food.
On all walks, if people wanted to eat at the pub after the walk then they should be asked on the programme to pre-book the meal just before the walk if the pub found this helpful (leaders to check when planning their walk).
Food and Drink on Walks
Richard and Mike ask walks leaders to plan a "coffee" stop just before the first hour is up. This would not come amiss, as some members may have set off quite early. If the walk is estimated to finish much after 13:00, a second refreshment stop would be at about 12.30.
Incident Report Form
It is essential that leaders report all incidents on Ramblers walks and other activities, even if they result in no or only minor injuries. Please use this form and return to Mike in the first instance. If serious they will be sent to our Secretary, Andrew, for possible onward transmission to Ramblers in London.
Download the form HERE
Contingency Plans for Hot Weather
Richard and Mike ask walkers and walks leaders in particular to think carefully before taking part in Group Walks during any really hot spell (if we ever have another one!). We encourage anyone planning taking part to read it too. Read the message HERE
Water on Hot Days
Just a reminder that with rising temperatures it is very important that you drink plenty of water on walks and I don't think many of us do. I have just visited Spain where the temperatures were only three or four degrees higher than here and a very experienced HF leader insisted that for a days walk we carried at least one and a half litres of water.
It is only too easy to forget to drink as you walk and talk and take in the views but unless you keep your hydration levels up you could have problems. I am as guilty as the next Rambler, as I realised on Saturday when I got back and found I hadn't touched my water. My only excuse was Di wasn't there to look after me!
Richard D 18/5/14
Walkers are Very Welcome - We Hope!
Ramblers CO have been busy identifying reasons why members leave the organisation. Most of you can guess the main ones but one in which we can all have a hand is that people leave because they were not made to feel welcome. We hope that in South Cots we do quite well in this area, but it is always worth remembering to welcome any new members and make sure that somebody speaks to them during the walk.
Do You Measure Up?
With the introduction of our leisurely Monday walks the length of the walk is becoming more critical. We cannot advertise a short walk and then add on even half a mile. People come prepared for a certain distance bringing the appropriate amount of water and food. If you have any doubts about the length of your walk you can always ring Mike with the Explorer map handy and describe your route to him. He will then be able to give you an accurate measurement after checking it out on his computer.
Problems have been experienced recently with walks in the Severn Vale along the river corridor. The overall standard of footpath maintenance is not good and there are a number of blocked footpaths. If you are thinking putting on a walk in this area it is worth doing a walk over as close as possible to the date of the walk.
Mike G - Walks Programme Coordinator
Richard D - Chairman