Blairgowrie and District Next Steps

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Code of Conduct


Walking in the Scottish countryside can be hazardous, particularly if ill-equipped or physically ill-prepared.  While there are no particular hazards involved in any of our walks, due to changeable weather and the risk of injury or exacerbation of any existing medical conditions it is a condition of joining that the following terms are accepted.


Participants acknowledge that decisions made by the organisers and walk leaders are final, as they are responsible for your safety during the walks.  If a leader considers that any participant is inadequately equipped for a particular walk in the conditions pertaining at the time then the participant may be excluded from that walk.  Failure to abide by the walk leaders reasonable decisions may result in exclusion from any further participation and forfeiture of any payments made.  Since Next Steps is a guided or led activity, of necessity someone has to be in charge.  One of the trained walk-leaders will have this role assisted by the other leaders as appropriate.  All participants have a nominal duty of care to each other, and for safety and logistical reasons leaders' reasonable instructions should be obeyed at all times.  It is also worth noting, these leaders are also there for enjoyment as much as everybody else.

There is no compulsion to undertake any activity, but group dynamics may ‘encourage’ an individual to do something they may not feel able to do.  If in any doubt say no, but please communicate this with the leader.  It should be noted that walks may require participants to climb fences, stiles, gates, walls, or cross areas of vegetation such as heather and bracken, burns, rocks, and boggy wet ground.  It is not always possible to predict to what extent these conditions may be encountered so all participants should be prepared for these eventualities.

·   Walkers are free to leave the group at any time but MUST notify the leaders.  If they leave they are responsible for making their own way back home.  A failure to advise the leaders may result in a missing person search and cause considerable difficulties and distress.

·   The leaders are volunteers as well as participants and are there for enjoyment as well so please show respect for them and be considerate of everyone else.

·   Keep leaders informed of any changes in health, including before, after, and (especially) during the walk.  Vulnerable people” must be accompanied by a carer at all times.  All participants will be treated with dignity and private information such as advised medical conditions will be treated in the strictest confidence.

·   You must be fit for the walk at all times.  A health questionnaire must be completed before commencing with this activity, and should assess your ability to participate.  If appropriate, please do a shorter or less demanding walk to start off with.  While we strive to be inclusive it is unreasonable to always expect a leader to hang back on a longer and more strenuous walk.

·   Walk leaders inherit a particular duty of care (but are not accountable for control).  All participants are responsible adults but a leader is in charge at all times and must have the final say.  They take your well-being and safety seriously and provide advice based on their experience.

·   Be suitably clothed and equipped for each walk, if a leader suggests you shouldn’t go on the walk at that time then there will be a good reason.  It may be necessary for safety reasons not to allow someone along at a particular time.  This is not a reflection on anyone, but a recognition that not every walk is necessarily suitable for everyone.

·   Walk within the group boundaries, please refrain from walking in front of the front marker or behind the rear marker.

·   This is a group activity therefore keep yourself and everybody else safe.

·   All participants should share in undertaking refreshment and other chores, a rota will be drawn up to assist.

·   All walkers must register at the start of each walk, and by ‘signing-on’ will be deemed to have accepted the rules.

·   Failure to abide by these rules, may result in hazards to others as well as yourself.  Continued refusal may result in exclusion from further activity.

If in any doubt as to your ability to undertake a walk please select a less demanding one.  We are walking in the outdoors and all risk cannot be eliminated.  Ultimately each individual is responsible for themselves.


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