General guidelines for walkers
Manx footpath Conservation Group (MFCG) take the safety of all participants on it walks as priority but do not wish to remove the enjoyment of sociable group walking around our beautiful island. Here are a few general guidelines for members/potential members and visitors to achieve maximum enjoyment for your MFCG walk.
- All walks have guidelines of the recommended distance and terrain of particular walk days. There is a walk for everyone so please choose walks that you are confident of the duration and terrain. If in doubt, your coordinator will be happy to assist or advise in any way possible.
- All walks will have a walk leader who will inform you of the walk route and any safety concerns at a short briefing before commencement.
- No dogs are allowed on MFCG walks.
- If you have medication that you could potentially require on the walk, it’s the walkers responsibly to remember and administer, if required. Members with medical conditions are welcome on all walks but we just ask that you are aware of the terrain, distance, and duration. Please advise the leader of any relevant medical conditions, if required before the commencement of the walk.
- Please do not walk in front of the walk leader or behind the back-marker, if you require a comfort break, please inform the back marker.
- All walks are risk assessed for the general safety of the members attending but all walkers walk at their own risk.
- If you have any concerns on any part of a walk, please speak to the leader.
- Where snacks, lunch and water are advised, please bring sufficient supplies for your individual requirement.
- Please walk in single file and on the right hand side of all roads, unless advised by the leader to alternatives.
- If leaving a walk for whatever reason, please advise the leader.
Please be aware and considerate to your fellow walkers and most importantly enjoy your walk.
General guidelines for walk leaders
All members of Manx Footpath Conservation Group (MFCG) are actively encouraged to lead a walk, however there is no requirement to do so should they prefer not to.
There is no right or wrong way of leading a walk and for those members who already kindly lead walks or those considering future involvement, these guidelines will help with the general guidance to make the walk successful for all the participants.
- Only fully subscribed members are allowed to lead members on a walk.
- Members who are considering leading or who lead walks are encouraged to attend one of the First Aid courses provided by the club.
- All leaders are advised to carry their own mobile phone in case of emergency.
- Leaders should lead a walk that they are comfortable with both the distance and terrain.
- All walk days have guidelines for distance and duration, your walk should be based around these guidelines wherever possible.
- Walk leaders are responsible to familiarise themselves with the route, this should include a Reece walk to check the route for any unexpected alterations or diversions. Reece walks should ideally be done a maximum of 4 week prior to the walk.
- A risk assessment form must be filled out prior to the commence of a walk.
- MFCG Risk Assessment forms are available to be filled in from the website or manually on the MFCG Risk Assessment form. The website interactive form automatically records a copy to the Safety Officer – Manually completed forms are required to be sent to the Safety Officer whose details are on the Risk Assessment form.
- The completion of a Risk Assessment form by a walk leader is mandatory and a requirement from the clubs insurance policy. Non-compliance will invalidate our insurance; the form is user friendly and takes less than 5 minutes to complete.
- When considering a route think about the general guidelines, suitable places for rests and lunch stops, public toilets at the start/finish, the suitability of the walk for all the participants.
- Should the weather forecast be poor before the commence of the walk, take this into consideration with the original route or a possible alternative route. Feel free to contact your walk coordinator for advice and possibly cancellation if required. The safety of yourself and participants is priority and as leader you hold the final decision. The leader/representative should attend the start point of a cancelled walk, in case of un-notified attendees.
- Stiles, kissing gates, crossing busy roads, and gates can delay the duration of a walk, consider this in your planning of the route.
- As leader you should designate a back-marker for the walk, between you should agree the number of participants and regular check that all members are in attendance throughout the walk.
- Walkers are asked not to walk ahead of the leader or behind the back-marker.
- Leaders should ideally carry basic-first aid kits for potential use on a walk, please contact your walk coordinator for availability.
- When walking on busy roads keep to single file and walk on the right-hand side, if required due to bends safely cross to the left side.
- Leaders and back markers are advised to wear hi-visibility items whilst walking on long sections of road. This is for the safety of everyone and walk coordinators have a supply of club hi-visibility jackets for use, please contact hem for availability.
- Try to plan ‘escape / alternative’ routes in case of incident to take the group back to a safe point.
- No Dogs are allowed on MFCG walks.
- Judge the best pace to walk at, try to maintain a comfortable pace for all participants. Good communication with your back marker will ensure a comfortable and achievable pace for everyone.
- If an incident occurs on the walk that requires medical or unexpected action, leaders must report this on an incident form. Incident forms are available to be completed interactively the website and the interactive incident form automatically records a copy to the Safety Officer/Chair – Manually completed forms are required to be sent to the Safety Officer/Chair whose details are on the incident form.
- At the start of every walk the leader should conduct a short briefing to:
- Introduce themselves and any new members/visitors.
- Outline of the route and any potential hazards.
- Remind all participants that they walk at their own risk.
- Identify a designated back marker.
- Highlight any concerns about the weather which might affect the walk.
Leading a walk is fun and many members find it rewarding, especially if it’s a route they enjoy. Keep aware at all time of the group members but most importantly enjoy leading your walk.
Our Risk Assessment and Incident Forms can now be completed online. If you would prefer to handwrite these and post them please download the forms below. Please note that online completion is preferable