Update on rules for organising Local Group social walks

Update on rules for organising Local Group social walks
Update on rules for organising Local Group social walks

The text of this email was sent to all Local Group Chairs, Secretaries and Walks Secretaries.

It will be of interest to all TVLDWA leaders.



It's good to see that a number of groups are now putting on regular walks.  In NEC we have continued in our efforts to support Local Groups that wish to do so, while ensuring the walks are safe and compliant with government regulations.   Acknowledging that attitudes and perceptions vary across the country and that we are also trying to protect our walk leaders and members, the communities in which we walk and the reputation of both the local and the national LDWA, we have made a slight change to the rules.

The change to the rules regarding organising a social walk

It has been agreed that it should now be mandatory to carry the delivery plan on all walks. This is a change - it was previously advisory. You can carry hard copy or have it available on an electronic device. This is in case anyone queries the legitimacy of the walk and to protect walk leaders if challenged.

This means that for all walks: 

- complete a risk assessment (mandatory for walks of 7 or more in England and Scotland, best practice for other walks)

- carry the delivery plan / rules

- complete a walks register and upload to LDWA server

- remind attendees not to come if they have any COVID-19 symptoms

- consider the issues raised in the risk assessment 

- upload the risk assessment to LDWA server (mandatory for walks of 7 or more in England and Scotland, best practice for other walks)


An updated Q&A document is available in the toolkit


For those of you who have not yet looked at the risk assessment template please note that it is a very straightforward document and will not take more than a few minutes to complete.  In fact it is possibly much quicker and easier to go through the process for walks of more than 6 people (leader + 5 members) than organising another walk for a second group of 6.  However, the walk leader responsible for the walk should make the final decision on what size group they are comfortable with leading on any given day and in any circumstances current at the time.

Please remember, if you are organising a second group walk on the same day, these should not use the same route within an hour of each other or follow the reverse route where a pinchpoint is inevitable unless a full recce and risk assessment has deemed this safe under social distancing guidelines.  Rather, it is recommended that different routes, different start points and different starting times are planned for.

Finally, much of the UK is now under a host of different local lockdown restrictions.  It is impossible for NEC to send out a single message to Local Groups covering all of the eventualities, which are also changing day by day.  Therefore it is imperative that walk leaders check for local rules and restrictions both in their own area and in the area in which the walk is planned in the run up to and on the day of the planned walk and adhere to the restrictions in place.

Thank you once again for bearing with us during these strange and difficult times.




Julie Cribb

LDWA NEC Local Groups’ Officer

on behalf of the LDWA NEC

Thames Valley LDWA - https://www.ldwa.org.uk/thamesvalley