Lead your favourite walk
If you are not already a leader for East Surrey Walkers (ESW) please step forward and take a turn. If everyone committed to help lead a walk then we would fill our walks programme every quarter without always relying on the same leaders. Our leaders are all members of ESW and volunteer their time; they do a great job but we need more leaders. Our group is growing and we want to continue to offer a full programme, maybe even have more walks. So how about showing us your favourite walk? We all have one so please share yours with others! It’s fun so please go for it.
Our Walks Programme
You are probably familiar with the programme we offer. We have walks on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays and also some walks on Thursdays or Fridays. Most of these walks are circular. The Wednesday walks are usually short at 5-6 miles, while on Saturdays and Sundays we alternate between short walks and long walks of around 9-12 miles. Any long walk would entail bringing a picnic lunch.
We are always looking for new leaders for all of the walks but please note that the Wednesday group can be quite large, sometimes up to 40 people, so you will have to feel confident about leading a large group. We can however arrange for an existing leader to help you both with planning and co-leading a walk with you.
Our walks on Thursdays or Fridays can be any length and start at any time. Anything goes for these days! As well as a standard walk, here are some ideas of othertypes of walk you could think about:
- An eight mile walk
- A brisk walk with an average speed of three miles an hour.
- Do you fancy going that extra mile and leading a fifteen mile walk?
- A walk with a pub meal in the middle or at the end of the walk is always very popular.
- A linear walk
- An afternoon walk
- Do you have a special interest, such as birds, plants, history etc? Then do a walk focused on that interest.
Just pick a walk and go for it, we are open to new ideas for walks.
Find a Walk
So you are now ready to pick out a walk. To help with this we have some links here showing examples of walks in Surrey Kent and Sussex.
Pick your walk and then walk it out so you familiarise yourself with the route and you are comfortable with it. You will probably start with a walk that you know well. However we do advise that you check it out; fallen trees, limited access, broken stiles can be bad news! Does the car park have enough space for our group and others?
If you are apprehensive about leading a walk why not buddy-up with an established leader for your first go.
Booking your Walk
As a first time leader the next step is to contact the Walks Co-ordinator/Administrator to help you gain access to the Walks Leaders section on the website so you can sign up. They can also email you a helpful document advising how you can use the walk planner which is called “Using the walks Planner”.
Of course the programme needs to be decided well in advance of the actual dates. We have an online planner showing all the regular dates for the next quarter. Leaders book their slots and input walk details e.g. the date, the length of the walk, car park coordinates, about your walk and telephone number. If you want to lead an extra walk on a different date please contact Nigel.
Under the Leaders section we have a Car Park Map and another document advising you how to use the car park map called “Using the Car Parks Map.”
When the Walk Programme closes you will be emailed a request to check your details on the programme before it goes live.
The day of your walk
Our walks usually start at 10:00am but we ask walkers to arrive by 9.45. Therefore you should arrive before then.
Please welcome all and record their names. There is a suitable form called “Walks Register” which can be found under the Leaders Section and printed out.
Also under the Leaders Section is a check list, you might want to print a copy of this as it will remind you what to mention before you set off on your walk. A brief description of the walk, hazards such as busy roads etc. Let them know they are walking at their own risk. Appoint a back marker if there are enough on the walk to warrant this.
After the walk congratulate yourself and email our Walks Co-ordinator with walk numbers.
Leader Training Courses
We encourage all potential leaders to attend a 1 day training course. This covers the various things a leader needs to consider when preparing to lead a group walk; also the use of Ordnance Survey maps, including how to take a grid reference and the simple use of a compass. In the afternoon it is held outdoors so all that you have learnt you can put into practice. These training courses are held regularly at Surrey Area level. Put a feather in your cap and attend a course. You will be learning something new and gaining a skill at the same time. If you want to attend a course please contact our Walks Co-ordinator to find out future dates. We have also run special courses on using a smartphone as a navigation aid, focussing primarily on the ViewRanger app - if you would like to attend one of these then please register your interest with our Walks Co-ordinator.
If there is sufficient demand, it should be possible to run a course locally for East Surrey Walkers members. If you are interested please let our Walks Co-ordinator know.