Walking D-Thursday Medium

This group meets for a 5-7 mile walk at an easy pace, with good social interaction over lunch at the end of the walk.

Varies
2nd Thursday of the month
10.00 am for 10.15 start.
  • Coordinator: Les Thomas - 01695 573230

New guidelines (Revised 3rd May 2019)

The full guidelines will stay on this website for a month – after this it will be replaced with a link to a PDF document.

Guidelines for Walkers

Background

Walking is one of the best ways of keeping fit and healthy, and walking in friendly, sociable groups is particularly good for older people. As such U3A is keen to encourage members to take part in organised walks, and to increase the number of people volunteering to lead walks. The information and advice given below is intended to help achieve these aims for all types of U3A walks, but especially those which take place in more remote/hazardous locations, where the risk of accidents increases. This advice was produced by a group of experienced U3Awalkers including the ‘Long’ and ‘Medium’ Walking Group Coordinators. It takes account of existing U3A advice and the extensive guidance published by the Ramblers Association (RA) and the Holiday Fellowship (HF).

 

Advice for Walkers

General

You are the person primarily responsible for your safety. Walk Leaders (WL) will provide information about the walk (location, terrain, distance etc,), but you must decide whether these are within your capabilities. If you have any doubts you should discuss them with the WL, – including any anxieties about walking near animals;

Outline information about proposed walks is published in the U3A Magazine, and further information is provided nearer the day of the walk – see below;

  • If you decide to go on the walk confirm this to the WL. If subsequently you find that you cannot make it let the WL know;
  • Listen carefully to (and follow) any instructions or advice given by the WL.
  • If, during the walk, you feel unwell or decide to leave the walk you should tell the WL or the Back Marker.

What to Wear

Footwear with a good grip plays a key role in preventing accidents. Walking boots provide ankle support and give ‘feedback’ about the position of the ankle on inclines and rough ground. They also provide a better barrier to water on wet and muddy ground. Hence walking boots are best for moorland and hill walking. In lowland areas walking shoes or trainers with a good grip may be adequate.

Comfortable outdoor clothing. In general, several thin layers are better than one thick layer, as they make it easier to regulate your temperature.

What to Bring

An Emergency Personal Information Card containing the information set out in Annex 1 (RA publication) – most people keep one of these permanently in their rucksack. Also bring a personal first aid kit which should include any prescribed medication and – as appropriate – analgesics (e.g. paracetamol), antihistamines and antiseptic cream. (Each WL has a more comprehensive first aid kit but is not allowed to supply any medication).

For low level walks you will need to carry with you the following:

  • Waterproof jacket and over-trousers;
  • A spare pullover or fleece;
  • Enough drinking water and /or a flask of coffee/tea. Dehydration is a significant risk and it is important to drink regularly throughout a walk. As a minimum bring at least 1 litre of drinks – more if the weather is hot.
  • A picnic lunch and snacks. Maintaining energy/sugar levels is particularly important for older walkers;
  • For mountain or moorland walks you are also advised to have:
  • Hat and gloves;
  • Spare high-energy food;
  • Walking pole(s) – particularly useful for descents;
  • Sun hat and sun protection cream.

 

Advice for Walk Leaders

Before the Walk 

Planning the Route:

Choose a walk that is suitable for the likely ability and fitness of the intended group. Issues to take into account include:

  • Terrain – how steep, rocky, exposed or slippery is it;
  • Number and types of stile;
  • Paths through fields containing animals and alternative routes;
  • Length and duration of walk assuming a modest pace;
  • Points of interest;
  • Collect information about car parking, toilets and refreshments.

Recce the Route

Walk the full route (preferably within 4 weeks of the walk), noting important navigation points, hazards and problems, and adjusting the route where necessary. If possible, do the recce with someone who will also be a member of the group on the intended walk.

Publicise the Walk

Proposed walks should initially be agreed with the relevant Walking Group Coordinator so that they can be published (in brief outline) well in advance in the U3A Newsletter;

For Long and Medium Walks a summary description of the walk should be sent to Barry Carr (contact details in magazine) about a week or so before the walk is due to take place, so that he can circulate it to all interested U3A members. This summary should contain enough information about the walk (see above ‘issues to be taken into account’) to enable walkers to judge whether it is suitable for them. The summary should also include information about the location of the meeting point, car parking and toilets etc. and your mobile phone number. Information about travel time and routes to the meeting point are also helpful;

Short and Medium Walk Coordinators/Leaders to provide further information on request;

 

The day before the Walk

  • Check the weather forecast and review the route if necessary. Be prepared to cancel if the weather is too bad;
  • Recheck with pub/café if you have previously agreed to visit;
  • Check that you have appropriate communication and emergency kit. As a minimum this should comprise:
  • A charged mobile phone pre-registered to enable it to use Emergency SMS to text a message to 999 or 112 (see Annex 1);
  • High visibility tabards for use by yourself and the back/mid markers (see below).

For walks in remote and/or hazardous locations this kit should also include:

  • A 2-way radio set (for communicating with the Backmarker);
  • An emergency bivi-bag and or a foil blanket;
  • Walk Leader’s augmented first aid kit.

These additional items can be obtained from the Long and Medium Walking Group Coordinators.

 

On the Walk 

At the Start:

  • Compile a ‘Register’ of walkers;
  • Appoint and brief the Backmarker, whose job it is to notify the WL if the group has spread out too much, or if a walker has fallen back due to illness etc. If there are more than about 25 walkers and there is a wide range of capabilities, consider appointing a ‘midmarker’ to help keep the group together;
  • Give an over-view of the walk, how long it will take, points of interest, refreshment stops and places where particular care is needed;
  • Be prepared to advise inadequately equipped walkers not to go on the walk;
  • Count the Group and signal the start of the walk;

During the Walk:

  • Set a pace to suit the group’s capabilities;
  • Stay in sight or communication with your backmarker/ midmarker at all times. Allow for regrouping and head-counts as required;
  • Regularly check the route against your recce notes and a map;
  • Help the group across stiles, gates, roads and in poor weather;
  • Keep an eye on the weather and change plans if necessary;
  • Be alert to any problems with individuals: if anyone feels unwell and wishes to leave the walk, arrange for a volunteer to accompany them;
  • Be willing to change the route if unforeseen obstacles or hazards arise e.g. blocked pathways or cows with calves;
  • If there is an emergency, dial 999 or 112 and ask for help (see Annex 1);

At the End of the Walk;

  • Check everyone has returned;
  • Relax at the pub!

Click for Annex 1

 

If you would like to download these guidelines, to refer to or print, click on the following link:-

Guidelines for Walkers

 

DATE

LEADER

PHONE

LOCATION

LENGTH

 11 April

 Barry Carr

 729114

 Rufford

 6½ miles

 9 May

 Annelie Maier

 01744 – 882843

 Harrock Hill 

 6 miles

 13 June

 Bryan Pready

 574717

 T.B.A.

 T.B.A.

 

 

 

For other Walking Groups see:- 

 

Gallery of Past Walks

Click or tap on photographs to enlarge.