The main object of our walks is fresh air, excercise & the sheer enjoyment of walking in the countryside with good company. This isn't meant to be a restrictive list of rules. Most of this is just common sense. Group walking etiquette if you like.
Joining the walk
To join one of our walks you simply turn up at the start. There is no need to book a place or contact the walk leader unless this is clearly stated in the walk description. New walkers are always welcome and you don't have to be a member for your first few walks
All walks have a leader. Although you are responsible for your own safety and all walks are undertaken at your own risk the walk leader will often issue instructions. Please obey the walk leader. They are concerned for your safety & enjoyment of the walk. Let the leader lead you. The leader is usually in front but may sometimes be checking on walkers towards the rear of the group.
Our walk leaders are just ordinary Ramblers members who enjoy walking so much that they are prepared to give up their time to devise, walk out & commit to leading a walk often many months in advance & in all weathers. They are all volunteers. Could you lead a walk ?? Be A Walk Leader
We have three grades of walks (L) Leisurely - occasional walks (S) Strenuous - very rare. Most walks are (M) Moderate - this covers all manner of sins & if in doubt phone the walk leader. Have in mind the sort of terrain the walk is over. A short hilly walk could be far more taxing than a longer flat walk
Let the walk leader set the pace. Some walks are graded as brisk pace. Do not walk in front of or faster than the leader to try & increase the pace. Likewise do not dawdle & try to slow the group down. If the pace is genuinely too fast for you then have a word with the leader. If you have concerns that the walk may be too difficult, or too fast then contact the walk leader beforehand. The walk leaders phone number is always provided for just this purpose.
You must be properly equipped. Warm waterproof clothing & good strong footwear is usually essential. What is appropriate is dependent on our fickle weather but a good motto is usually be prepared for the worst but hope for the best. Warm clothes in winter & plenty of water on a hot Summer day. The walk leader has the absolute right to refuse to accept anyone on a walk who is inadequately equipped or appears to be unfit to complete the walk. Sometimes a walk leader will, if our weather has been kind and the paths well kept, consider that trainers or something similar would be adequate. If this is so then there will be a note in the walk description.
Circular or Linear
Walks are usually circular. If they are not they will be described as linear with information about how to get back to the start
Size of Group
No one knows. Not until the day of the walk. The better the weather usually the larger the group and shorter walks often have bigger turnouts than the longer walks. Expect anything from half a dozen to a couple of dozen or more.
Leaving the Walk
If you need to leave the walk, assuming you know your way back, you must let the leader know. The leader regulary checks that all walkers are present & correct. It's disconcerting to find someone missing.
If you need to answer a call of nature let other walkers know. Larger groups will have a backmarker. This is the person to tell. The leader will always wait for you. Leaders will point out places suitable for comfort stops. The best you can usually hope for is behind a tree!
Usually the last person at the back has the duty of shutting any gates. it's safe to assume that unless you are told otherwise all gates should be fastened after the last person in the group has gone through.
Children under 18 are welcome on our walks accompanied by a parent or guardian.
Dogs are allowed on our walks only with the explicit consent of the walk leader. You must contact the walk leader to ask for permission to bring a dog. Only the walk leader knows the route well enough to give consent. There may be problems with cattle, mud (or worse) & difficult stiles. If you are allowed to bring your dog it must be kept on a short lead at all times. Please respect the fact that not everyone loves dogs & many dog loving walkers do not like dogs on their walks. You must clean up after our dog even in open countryside. Dog faeces contain bacteria that can be harmful to farm animals & must be picked up even though the field may be full of the droppings of other animals. Please never hang the bag of dog poo from the nearest tree. Why do people do this? See The Ramblers guide to walking with dogs here walking with a dog
There is usually a refreshment stop about halfway round, so please bring a flask & sandwiches if you wish.
After the walk
Walks usually finish in the nearest pub or cafe for a little socialising. Some may consider this the best part!