Status. The Group, originally formed in 1999, is not a Community Amateur Sports Club or a Charity but the organisers of voluntary events, as affiliated members of The Ramblers. Guidance for such groups, which are accepted by this Group, include that the Group should:
• Not make a profit.
• Have Public Liability Insurance (not mandatory but strongly advised).
• Have an annual meeting to let volunteers know of the Group’s plans, use of funds etc.
• Agree how much to hold in the account, outside the period of an event. This might be based on 1 year’s running costs to allow for expenditure before income is received.
• Have a simple set of rules [a constitution].
• Provide risk assessments for all activities.
• Follow GDPR guidance.
Such groups can hold low cost raffles and provide alcohol at private events or on licensed premises.

Membership. Membership of the Group is as follows:
• Named officers: Chair, Secretary/Walks Coordinator, Treasurer and Web-Manager.
• Walk leaders, both lead and co-leaders.
• All those walkers who sign in for a walk with their name, address/email and signature – who are short-term members for the duration of their walk.

Committee. The committee is comprised of the named officers and all walk leaders, with the Chair or Secretary and any 4 others quorate in terms of making a decision. Meetings may be face-to-face or online and business may be conducted out-of-committee by email.

Aim. The Group aims to organise an annual walking festival in and around Ulverston.

Objectives. The following objectives have remained constant throughout the Group’s life:
• Be open to all who respect the countryside, its beauty and wildlife.
• Provide a programme of walks and related social events, led by volunteers appropriate to all social groups.
• Focus on Ulverston and Furness, but including Coniston and the Duddon Valley.
• Promote the use of public transport and car-sharing where possible.
• Hold an annual meeting.
• Elect, or re-elect, and maintain a minimum of 2 officers each year.
• Have financial reports kept and audited annually.
• On dissolution of the Group, donate any remaining funds to a similar organisation agreed by the Committee.

Insurance. The Group is insured through The Ramblers, on an annual rather than event basis, with public liability cover of £5,000.000.  A requirement of this insurance is that risk assessments are completed for each activity, and that the Group has a constitution. The cover is for a membership of 250-400 members, including those attending the walks and who are recorded as members. While up to 500 walkers may be shown to have attended walks in a particular year, many of these will be people who have attended several walks, bringing the total membership well within the insurance parameters.

The following summary of cover is from a 118 page document held by the Secretary and has no legal basis whatsoever.  It is purely a guide.  

We have cover against acompensation claim against the Walking Festival under:

  • Public liability – for bodily Injury, abuse or damage to a third party or their property (Including a claim against a member (a signed up walker); by one member against another; liability under the Data Protection Act; for defamation or related to the use of a vehicle used in connection with our activities).
  • Professional Indemnity – against a claim of negligence, breach of duty of care or failure to educate or supervise (covering a walk leader but also including a membership dispute or infringement of intellectual property rights).
  • Management liability – against a claim against an officer or committee member (including walk leaders) arising from their actions taken or decisions made.

GDPR. The key elements applicable to the Group are that personal details of members are kept secure for 6 years, in case a claim is made against the Group, and that all members on a particular activity agree to be included in a photograph, or are actively excluded from being photographed. Next of Kin details are held by lone walkers (not in a couple or in a group known to each other), on a card in their coat or rucksack top pocket and not disclosed to the Group except in an emergency (cards provided by Walks Coordinator).

Instructions for Walk Leaders – are produced and are available on this website. They include a generic risk assessment and additional risks and mitigating actions in relation to each activity. Each walk will have 2 walk leaders , both capable of leading the walk, with walks limited to 20 for Easy and Moderate walks, and 12 for Moderate Plus and Hard walks.

The Programme. The Festival is normally for 9 or 10 days, with either two or three walks a day, ideally with an Easy, Moderate or Moderate-plus/Hard walk each day. These are described in more detail under WALK NOTES. The management of the walking groups is discussed under WALK LEADER INSTRUCTIONS

Decisions taken at the 5th August 2021 Meeting

  • £1000 was a maximum target for funds retained between events. This would be achieved and maintained by offering free or reduced price walks. Small grants would only be made to a charity that had directly supported the Group in some way (eg MR cover, use of toilets/car parking, special access, or presentation provided during a walk).
  • Two meetings a year would be held, one to arrange the programme and the other as a wash-up after the festival (thank-you social). The accounts could be presented at either.
  • The Group have tried to be accessible to all, but the very nature of a walking festival is limiting. One stile is enough to limit a walk. Walks that could include, for instance, wheel chairs and push chairs, would be included in every programme.
  • The Group would not allow other organisations to piggy-back onto our events. It has not worked in the past and they always have their own agenda. However visiting Sir John Barrow House, Swarthmoor Hall, or the Newland Furnace as a part of one of our walks, is recommended.

Decisions taken at the 13th October 21 Meeting

  • Walk fees to be waived again for 2022 and then reviewed annually.
  • The programme to be on the website with no printed edition.
  • Walkers to be invited to book in by email, to avoid over-subscribed walks.
  • Number of walks to be increased in 2022 but only to a level that allows for co-leaders to be appointed for all walks.

Decisions Taken at 25 May 2022 Meeting:

  • Walks offered by non-regular walk leaders were to be led by a regular walk leaders supported by a subject expert, a new volunteer leaders or a member of an external group offering a walk.  This would ensure that we retained control of the walk in accordance with our own procedures.
  • Small donations, in response for support to the Festival by Friends of the Hoad Monument, Newland Furnace and Hybridge Nature Reserve. were agreed.
  • The task of managing the booking-in System could be separated out from the coordination of walks and walk leaders, if a volunteer was forthcoming.