Volunteer Walk Leaders

Mid Sussex District Council's Healthy Walks Scheme is coordinated by the Park Ranger Service, but volunteers lead the majority of walks. Becoming a Volunteer Walk Leader is a great way to give something back to your community whilst doing something you love and meeting new people at the same time.

If you do not wish to lead walks you can still get involved by helping to publicise walks by delivering posters or giving talks to local groups, or you can help to input data into the walks database.

What does being a Walk Leader Involve?

We produce two walks programmes a year and Walk Leaders may lead as many or as few walks as they wish. Some people choose to lead one walk a week, some once every 6 months. Each Healthy Walk has a Leader and a Back Marker, so you can choose whether you would like to lead the route or stay at the back and make sure no-one gets left behind. Many people start off as Back Markers and then become Leaders as their confidence improves.   If you are leading a walk you will need to fill in a Walk Register at the start of the walk and any new walkers will need to fill in a Health Questionnaire.

Walk Leaders can set up their own walks and choose their own routes or we can supply routes for you.

We have meetings twice a year to plan the next season's walk programme and we also hold an annual social event for volunteer leaders.

We are currently running a project to set up walks for a wide range of organisations to try and encourage people who find it difficult to access our regular walks programme, such as schools, mental health charities, weight-loss groups etc. We are looking for Volunteer Walk Leaders to help lead these special project walks too.

How can I become a Walk Leader?

To become a Walk Leader or Back Marker you must attend the Walking for Health (WfH) 1-day training course, which we provide free of charge. There are several course dates each year.  Please contact the Rangers for more information.

Once you have made the commitment to lead walks with our scheme we will also provide you with a rucksack, a high visibility vest, a whistle, a water bottle, a clipboard, pens and all the necessary paperwork. On-going training and support is provided after attending the course.  Further information about our walks can be found in our Healthy Walks Leaflet.

What is the next step?

For more information or to request a place on a training day please contact the Park Rangers on 01444 477561 or email rangers@midsussex.gov.uk.

We recommend that anyone who is interested in becoming a Walk Leader attend a walk to give you an idea of how they are run. Feel free to speak the Walk Leader on the day and ask any questions.

More information can also be found on the Walking for Health website.