The Recce

You will need to try walking the route before the day of the walk, possibly even several times to make sure you are confident of the route. Try to find someone to go with you on the recce, prefereably an experienced walk leader, who can also go on the actual walk (a potential back marker who will know the route). On the recce you should:

  • walk the full route.
  • check the parking - will there be other users on the day of the walk?
  • take secateurs with you so that you can clear vegetation blocking the route.
  • time the walk, trying to allow for the extra time it takes a group to get over a stile etc. Check the walk can be completed in the available daylight hours.
  • note down any tricky points such as broken stiles or steep slopes. Report any problems to the relevant County Council - it may be fixed by the time of your walk.
  • assess any risks such as having to cross or walk along any busy roads.
  • decide where to break for drinks and food.
  • check for available toilet facilites.
  • check whether pubs at the end of the walk welcome walkers.
  • if you see any points of interest on the walk (such as churches, monuments etc), see if you can find out anything about them before the walk.
  • decide if crops and vegetation likely to become troublesome by the date of the walk.
  • determine if the route is suitable for dog walkers.

You may do your original recce months in advance of the walk, to check that it is suitable for the group before submitting it for inclusion in the programme. If so, you should repeat the recce very near the date of the walk just in case of unforeseen problems. You should also confirm any arrangements made, such as parking or pub lunches.