Photograph of Llyn Tegid (Bala Lake) from a group walk, courtesy of Jean Napier.
What this page is about
Leading a walk is not an onerous thing to do, in fact not that much different from walking with friends, and we want it to be enjoyable not only for the group but also for you, the leader. There are, of course, responsibilities which come with leading a group and we don't want you to find these daunting. That's why it's important to make sure you have all the support and guidance you need to give you confidence as a leader and to make walk leading a pleasurable experience.
There is plenty of information for leaders on the Ramblers website. In addition, from time to time, the Meirionnydd Group holds workshops for our volunteer walks leaders, when we get together to discuss best practice and provide support both to each other and to new leaders. The aim of this page is to bring together the various sources of information about walk leading and provide a quick and easy point of reference for the Group's walk leaders.
Information on the Ramblers website
The Ramblers website has a Volunteer Zone with information about many aspects of volunteering with Ramblers. The most important one for walk leaders is the Walk Leader toolkit. This is well worth looking at and includes sections on:
• Walk Leader Role Description
• Walk Leader Checklist
• In Case of Emergency Card
• Frequently Asked Questions
• Guidance for walk leaders on safeguarding
• Leading remote walks
• General Data Protection Regulation
• Walk Register
• Ramblers Incident Report Form
• First aid on walks
Most of these can be downloaded in PDF form. Particularly useful are the Walk Leader Checklist and the FAQs.
The Walk Leader Checklist has an outline of everything you need to think about when preparing for and leading a walk. It is also available from the group's Programme Secretary or from Ramblers GB in a pocket-sized laminated form which can be carried around in your rucksack as a quick reference.
The FAQs section has advice on dogs, children on walks, training opportunities, turning people away, Ramblers insurance and many other aspects of group walk leading.
Outcomes from the Group's leader workshops
Following our two most recent walk leader workshops in 2016 and 2018, we have collected together a detailed set of notes on all aspects of leading walks, from the initial preparations through to leading the walk on the day. There is also information about how to deal with incidents and emergencies on walks, although thankfully such events are very rare! These notes are not intended to take the place of the advice provided by Ramblers but rather to supplement it, providing more details in some instances and group-specific information in others. You can click on the following link to read our Walk Leading Standards notes.
Registering with Ramblers as a walk leader
Ramblers encourage all volunteers ro register our volunteering activites with them, including that of walk leading. You can do this by updating (or creating if you don't already have one) your online account at www.ramblers.org.uk. Registering will allow Ramblers to send you information relevant to walk leading, such as local training opportunities.
Could you lead a walk?
We rely on volunteers from the group to lead our walks and are always looking for new leaders, to add to the number and variety of walks we can offer. Walks can be of any length and grade and people often start off by leading the group on one of their favourite walks in their own local area. If you are new to walk leading, our experienced leaders are always willing to check out your routes with you and help you to lead them until you have the confidence to "go it alone".
From time to time the Group offers training in areas relevant to walk leading such as first aid, navigation and walk leader workshops. For first aid and navigation we use experienced external trainers, usually ones who have provided good training sessions for us before. Ramblers also include walk leader and navigation training in Roadshow events which visit the area from time to time. Look out on the News and Events page for forthcoming training opportunities or, if you would like to request a particular aspect of training, contact a member of the committee.