Downloadable Version of the Walking Safely Document (pdf format)

It is a condition of belonging to the MUD walking group that the group’s Walking Safely document (summarised below) is read, understood and put into practice.

Introduction
Walking is a low risk activity. To ensure this remains so, we identify and reduce any risks as far as is reasonably possible. Quantification of these risks is based upon the understanding of severity, probability, and any subsequent consequences. Walking safely is based upon common sense. This document seeks to describe how the safety of walkers in the MUD group is to be ensured as far as is practical in all aspects as well as specific Coronavirus issues.

Responsibilities of the Group Leader
Guidance and advice should be given by the group leader to any walkers wishing to join the group in terms of the general style and format of the walks, including the required fitness and ability to partake in the group’s activities.

 Responsibilities of the Walk Leader
During the planning of the walk risks should be understood and mitigated as far as possible by choice of route. During the walk the leader needs to be aware of any changing conditions and/or any issues arising and not to be afraid of adapting the walk, or even calling a halt if needs be.

 Responsibilities of the Walker
All walkers take responsibility for their own actions, both on themselves and others (including possibly the emergency services). Each walker needs to understand their own capabilities or limitations and adapt as necessary. If at any time they feel uncomfortable before or during any walk, they should immediately bring this to the attention of the walk leader and take action as appropriate. Walkers should be equipped for the conditions expected on the walk.

 Emergency Contact Details
Everyone should carry details of any medical conditions (if appropriate) and telephone numbers in case of emergency.

 First Aid
Walkers may carry a First Aid kit if they feel competent to administer it. Current insurance advice is to contact the emergency services immediately in the event of a serious incident, even if there is a member present who has attended a first aid course.

Coronavirus & Other Infectious Diseases
Everyone should adhere to the current Coronavirus guidelines. Walkers should not attend any walk if they are feeling unwell or have been in close contact with anyone who has. If subsequently to the walk anyone feels unwell, they must let the walk leader or group leader know as soon as possible so that others on the walk can be informed. Walkers are to maintain physical social distancing and car sharing is advised against unless part of the same family or bubble.

Good Walking Etiquette
Suitable clothing and equipment to be worn for all conditions of the walk, including the weather and terrain.
Follow the Country Code.
Walkers are not to put themselves and others at risk, and to follow the walk leader’s directions as is considered safe to do so.
With larger groups, use of a back and middle marker as required.
Walking in a single line through crops and on narrow roads.
Registration of text messaging on the 999 telephone service.
Crossing fields with livestock calmly and quietly, keeping together and being prepared to divert around them if necessary.

A generic risk assessment for the MUD walking group based on the U3A and Ramblers advice has been produced and is available from the group leader.