Leader Guidelines

Guidance for Leaders of Maghull Rambling Club Walks

This Guidance has been compiled from relevant sections of Navigation and Leadership -a manual for walkers, published by the Ramblers Association.  It represents good practice and as far as is reasonably possible, walk leaders and participants should observe it.   It is also intended to ensure that, as far as possible, the Club complies with the requirements of its liability insurers.  This revised guidance was approved at a Special Meeting of the Club on 5 June 2012.

  1. Appoint a back marker, preferably an experienced walker who can map-read.
  2. Check to see if everyone is suitably attired and seems physically capable of handling the expected terrain.
  3. If someone is obviously ill-prepared, firmly but politely tell them that they may not take part.  The decision is that of the walk leader, not that of the person    concerned.  This applies especially to Hard or Strenuous walks where such a  person could put others at risk.
  4. At or near the start, arrange a head count of participants.
  1. The leader should ensure all the party is in sight and if necessary, slow down to allow them to catch up.
  2. The back marker should always be at the back and tell the leader if someone has difficulty keeping up.  Do not set off again as soon as the back marker arrives. Let all the party have a short break.
  3. Have rest stops at suitable intervals, especially after hill climbs.
  4. The leader should check the headcount at suitable intervals (e.g. lunch stop) and at the end of the walk.
  1. Stop the walk and wait for a short while to see if they turn up.
  2. If they do not turn up, send a couple of members back to search for about 15 minutes.
  3. If they are still not found, detail a search party with experienced members and report progress back to the leader.
  4. If still not found, call the police.
  5. The walk leader should continue with the rest of the party and arrange a rendezvous with the search party.
  1. Try to discourage them if it is felt this is too risky.
  2. If they insist on going, they are responsible for their own safety. Ask for a  volunteer who is willing to accompany them.
  3. The leader should also warn anyone who wishes to divert from the route that they may not be covered by the club’s liability insurance in the event of an accident.
  1. If someone is seriously injured or is missing, call the ambulance or mountain rescue via 999.  Make sure you have the grid reference available.
  2. Members are advised to write their next of kin details and any relevant medical information on the back of their membership card and to carry the   card on any Club walks.  If they have a mobile phone it is helpful to put an ICE (in case of emergency) number to call in the phone book.
  3. In the absence of the above contact details, emergency services may need to contact next of kin.  If so, these Club officials may have a list of members’ addresses and phone numbers: Fred Coyne 0151-547 4182; and Jeff Milne 0151- 548 4771.
  4. If anyone suffers an injury or illness on a Club activity to the extent that they need medical attention, contact  Jeff Milne or Ken Price as soon as possible.  They will arrange for an incident report to completed.

The Club’s insurance policy covers the legal liability of the Club or its members to third parties or to other members arising out of authorised club activities.   

The insurance normally covers only the liability of the Club or its members.  So it is important that the role of walk leader must be a  current member of the Club at the time of the walk. 

Authorised activities are those normally associated with rambling and include social activities and reconnaissance trips for future walks.  The term ‘rambling’ would not cover activities such as rock climbing with ropes, skiing or cycling, for example.  Modest scrambling, especially on well-known fell walking routes would be included. 

If members take part in an activity that has not been approved by the Club, they are unlikely to be covered by the Club’s insurance.

Persons who choose to deviate from an authorised walk may run the risk of the club’s insurance being inapplicable.

  1. Clothing will obviously depend on the time of year and the nature of the walk.  We would recommend the following items:
  • Strong boots with walking socks.  (Trainers are not suitable except on short  walks in good weather).
  • Waterproof jacket.
  • Warm trousers, preferably waterproof and/or with gaiters in bad weather.
  • Hat and gloves in Winter.
  • Spare sweater or fleece.
  • A rucksack to carry spare items.
  • A packed lunch, drinks and snacks (biscuits, chocolate, fruit etc.)
  • On coach trips we ask all passengers to bring spare footwear to change into as it is not acceptable to get onto the coach in muddy boots.
  • A change of clothing may be appropriate for use after the walk.


  1. Additional items to consider may include:
  • walking poles.
  • small first aid kit.
  • map and compass.
  • torch.
  • whistle.
  • mobile phone.
  • GPS.

In severe snow and ice conditions in high level areas, the leader may suggest that participants should bring crampons.