Good walk leaders:
- Scout the route in advance and are familiar and confident with it.
- Feel responsible for the safety of the group and avoid putting members through unnecessary danger, opting for safer alternatives where possible.
- Are aware of any danger the route could present at all times and warn the participants accordingly.
- Send the Walks Coordinator a good description of the route, including an accurate grading of the level of difficulty, its approximate duration, meeting point and starting time. Members should be appropriately warned about particularly hard and dangerous walks.
- Head the group at all times and ensure that a sweeper is minding the slower members. Leader and sweeper keep contact by means of walkie-talkies or mobile phones. In the case of hard and very hard walks, it is advisable to have a third person to help in guiding the walkers in the middle of the group.
- Are constantly aware of the different levels of ability of the walkers in the group and regulate their pace accordingly, stopping periodically to regroup, in order to ensure that the group remains compact.
- Are prepared to give brief historical, cultural or other interesting information, refraining from interventions lasting more than 5 minutes at each stop.
- Carry a first aid kit or ensure that a trusted member of the group is carrying one. If leaders do not have a basic knowledge of first aid, they should try find out if someone who does is present. This is especially important on hard or very hard
walks. They will take charge of the situation in the event of an accident, ensuring
that help is called and that at least two members of the group remain with the casualty and that one of them has a mobile phone.
- Use their discretion in cancelling or modifying their walk in case of illness or of adverse weather conditions. In the event of a cancellation, the Walks Coordinator is to be notified as early as possible. The Walks Coordinator will then send an email to all our members with at least an hour’s notice. However, whenever possible, the Walks Coordinator and Walk Leader should be at the starting point on time and decide whether to proceed with the walk or not.
- Coordinate walks with the Walks Coordinator in the case of Weekend events. It is then up to the Walks Coordinator to coordinate with the Events Organiser.
- Report to the Walks Coordinator any rambler who disregards the Walk Leader’s instructions, contravenes the Green Country Code [see below], engages in unbecoming or disorderly behaviour during a walk, takes unnecessary risks, disrupts explanations given by the leaders, and generally behaves in a disrespectful way. The Walks Coordinator will then report to the Committee which will decide discuss what steps should be taken.
- Check that the regulation, decided upon by the committee, that no dogs are allowed on the walks, is adhered to.
Green Country Code – for a more respectful approach to our countryside
Adapted from Malta, Gozo & Comino: Off the Beaten Track – a Nature Trust publication 2002
- Refrain from collecting or causing harm to any specimens of flora, fauna, etc.
- Respect natural habitats, sensitive sites and the local inhabitants. Avoid disturbance.
- Avoid causing noise and light pollution (especially in caves or at night)
- Do not dispose of any waste in the countryside or sea
- Do not light fires in vulnerable locations,e.g. caves, under trees, on dry grass or garigue.
- Avoid trampling; keep to paths where possible, do not trespass on private property and cultivated fields.
- Be informed beforehand of the protection status of any sites you will be passing through –
some activities may be restricted in such areas or they may require extra attention.
- Report any grass fires or emergencies on 112