News and Notes for Leaders - updated 21 July 2017
Now is the time for all good leaders ....
.... to come to the aid of the Group by volunteering walk dates for November to February. See our Walk Planning Progress page. We will not need the details until 25 September, but please reserve dates with the collectors by 31 August.
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 Garner - 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 Davis 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 Garner - Walks Programme Coordinator
Richard Davis - Chairman