Includes: Outdoors, Nature and the great outdoors, Walking

Activity time:
1 meeting


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Walking is for all ages

From a walk in the park with your Rainbows to exploring remote countryside with The Senior Section, walking can be a real adventure.


Walking is an activity that can be as simple or as adventurous as you want, but you should always think about safety.

The following information will help you walk safely on roads, at night, in big groups and near water.

Planning checklist

Safety notes

Read the safety regulations below and our pages on walking in different types of countryside for further safety information.

If all of the group are over 18 or the group is walking within 30 minutes of an accessible road or refuge with a landline telephone, then the group leader does not need to hold a qualification.

Different categories of countryside will need different instructor qualifications. See the relevant page for the countryside you are planning to walk in:

Walking on roads

  • Walkers must follow the advice for pedestrians given in the current edition of the Highway Code.
  • Ensure everyone follows the Green Cross Code
  • Do not hitch-hike under any circumstances.
  • Groups should walk on the pavement wherever possible, facing the oncoming traffic. This enables the group, and the leader in particular, to watch the traffic and assess any problems ahead.
  • All walkers should wear light-coloured or reflective clothing.
  • The ratio of adults to girls may need to be increased depending on the route.

Where there is no pavement or path, a group of fewer than 20 must:

  • keep to the right and walk in single file
  • keep close to the side of the road
  • take care at sharp right-hand bends, if necessary crossing the road before the corner then crossing back to face oncoming traffic.

A group of 20 or more must:

  • keep to the left and walk in single file
  • have lookouts at a safe distance in front and to the rear. They should wearing fluorescent clothes during daylight.

Walking at night

If walking at night on a road, all walkers should wear light-coloured or reflective clothing. The lookout at the front must show a white light while the rear lookout shows a red light, visible from behind.

Walking near water

The Leader must ensure that all participants are given any necessary safety instructions. She may delegate this task to someone else, but remains responsible for ensuring it is done.

Leaders of groups walking near water should be familiar with the water safety guidance and read Group Safety at Water Margins. You could also ask your local Training Coordinator for information on water safety training.

When walking near water, Leaders should be aware of the dangers of Leptospirosis and Weil's Disease.

Environmental factors

Walkers must follow the Countryside Code and be aware of countryside access and rights of way.

When walking in grazing areas, Leaders should be aware of the risks of E. coli and of the importance of hand washing before eating food. If hand washing facilities are not available, antibacterial wet wipes or gel should be provided.

Leaders should also be aware of tick-borne Lyme disease.

Find out about and stick to local and seasonal restrictions, particularly those relating to fire, water, shooting and blasting.

Section Number of girls per adult
Rainbows 5
Brownies 8
Guides 12

How many adults are needed?

Use this calculator to find out the ratio of girls to adults that is required for this activity

2 adults needed


  • An Activity Information and Consent form is required to participate in this activity - PDF | Word
  • A Risk Assessment form is required for this activity - PDF

Remember - you can use one consent form for multiple activities