Amendments or Cancellations to the Walks Programme
Although every effort is made to adhere to the programme, it does very occasionally happen that details of a published walk need to be amended. Leaders have committed themselves to dates which could be almost a year ahead. Additionally, unforeseen road works or extremely adverse weather conditions (as experienced in 2009 and 2010 winters and during the floods of 2007) may make it impossible to reach the advertised starting point or to actually walk a planned route.
The Area Council meeting in June 2010 considered suggestions made by Area and Group walks co-ordinators as to how to best publicise amendments to the programme. It should be remembered that programmed walks are published not just to our own membership but to the public at large via the Walks Finder on both our own and the national Ramblers websites. The following circumstances were considered and proposals made for a common Area policy (in italics):
1 Named leader is unavailable
This can happen due to illness, injury or perhaps an unforeseen family event. Current practice is that the designated leader attempts to find his or her own replacement. Otherwise the relevant group secretary and/or rambles co-ordinator need to be informed and the group will attempt to find a replacement. On very rare occasions, this has proved impossible, in which case the Area committee has been approached for assistance in finding a new leader to enable the walk to go ahead.
• If a new leader is found at group level, there is no need to involve the Area Walks Co-ordinator or to make changes to the Walks Finder.
• No walk should be cancelled until steps have been taken at Group and Area level to find a replacement leader.
• In the worst case scenario, if no replacement leader can be found at short notice, someone should go to the start point to inform walkers of the situation. Email can be used to contact as many walkers as possible in advance, but this cannot be relied upon to reach all potential participants.
2 Start point is inaccessible
• In the event of severe weather or road works, any cancellation or amendment will be published on the Ramblers Walks Finder and also, where possible, on Area and Group websites.
• If severe weather is forecast, it is each walker's responsibility to check the Walks Finder and websites for amendments (or to phone a friend who can) or, as a last resort to phone the relevant Group Secretary before setting off for the walk.
3 The planned route is unwalkable or hazardous
The start may actually be accessible but the planned route could be obstructed or hazardous. Walking in deep snow, for example, is particularly strenuous and a shorter route might be considered in such conditions.
• Both the route and the distance can be altered at the leader's discretion.
• It is not necessary to amend the Walks Finder if an alternative walk from the advertised start point can go ahead.
When a Group Secretary, Rambles Secretary or walk leader decides to make an amendment to the Walks Finder they shall contact one of the following three people:
If the change is agreed, please notify the relevant Group Secretary/ Walks Secretary.