THE ROTHSAY RAMBLERS
SAFETY ADVICE FOR WALKERS AND WALK LEADERS
Walking with the Rothsay Ramblers is relaxing, healthy and sociable and safe. Walk leaders choose their walks with care bearing in mind the expected capability of the members in their group but each of us has a contribution to make to ensure our own, and others’, safety. For example, don’t take on a walk that you think may be too long or strenuous for you. We should all bear in mind a few basic points so please take the time to read this.
- Before you start Wear sturdy footwear, preferably walking boots; winter walks are often muddy and stiles can be slippery. Walking poles are useful and are used by many members. Be properly equipped with waterproof clothing; the weather can change unexpectedly. If you bring a visitor, make sure they have appropriate footwear and clothing. Carry water, especially in hot weather, and remember to bring with you any medication you might need (eg if you are diabetic). Please be aware of the importance of checking for ticks, which can cause Lyme disease. Click here for advice on recognising the sympotms of Lyme disease.
- Roads Most of our walking is off-road but it is inevitable that some time is spent on roads, particularly at the start and end of a walk. This is really the only significantly dangerous time of any walk. Your leader will direct you, but generally, use the pavement if there is one, and safe crossings wherever possible. Where there is no pavement, walk on the right, facing on-coming traffic, but cross to the other side before a sharp right-hand bend; walk in single file but don’t just blindly follow the person in front. Keep alert. Members of a group should never walk along both sides of a road without a pavement (and never ever along the middle!). If you are the first to see a car, shout “CAR” to alert others.
- Always follow the leader; don’t get ahead. Keep on the chosen footpath.
- Stiles, fences, gates etc Our walks are on public rights of way or permissive paths which should have no obstructions. Only in extremis do we ever need to climb over gates or fences. Generally stand back from the person in front when about to climb a stile (to avoid a muddy boot in your face!) but be ready to lend a helping hand to the person behind you after crossing.
- Animals Farmers with animals in fields with public rights of way should ensure that they are people-friendly. This is overwhelmingly the case but it’s sensible to keep a reasonable distance from animals, particularly if they are with their young. Please note that dogs are not permitted on walks.
- Level Crossings/Railway Lines The need to cross these is extremely rare on our walks. If you do need to cross, always obey warning signals, if any, and always stop, look and listen before crossing. Don’t just follow the person in front to keep that conversation going.
- Mobile Phones Have your phone with you if possible. If the leader's number is on the walk list, you may wish to make a note of it.
What to do in a medical emergency (adapted from advice in the Ramblers’ Association Magazine)
- Stay calm. Dial 999 on your mobile and ask for an ambulance. If you are well away from a road or in an inaccessible location, ask for the police. If you can’t get a signal, send 2 people to get help. Tell the emergency services what is wrong and give as accurate a location as possible.
- Keep the person as comfortable as possible. If a stretcher is going to be needed, ask a few people to stay to help, but the rest of the group should be taken to the end of the walk. Contact the pub if there’s going to be a delay.
- This advice is a useful reminder of the need for walk leaders and back markers to be equally familiar with the route, and to carry a map and phone.
- Safety and liability. Every care is taken in preparing and conducting the activities advertised in the programme, but participation by members and guests is entirely at the individual’s own risk. No responsibility for any form of accident or liability to an individual walker is accepted.