Our Health Walks are an important lifeline for many. We’re delighted that as of 24 August, and following the Scottish Government's update on 10 September, organised group walks of up to 30 people are able to begin.
Health Walks are an exception to the social meetings guidance as they come under organised sport (coaching) guidance which remains unchanged.
The safety and wellbeing of our volunteers and walkers is our upmost priority.
Since the beginning of lockdown, we’ve been working closely with our Scottish Health Walk Network members to develop guidance and advice on how to safely restart Health Walks in our communities.
As lockdown measures have eased over the last few months, we’ve been happy to see small Health Walks restart across the country, with walkers and volunteers adapting to physical distancing and increased hygiene guidelines.
Since 24 August, the Scottish Government has allowed Health Walks to take place with a maximum group of 30 people, adhering to physical distancing measures. This is the maximum number advice; individual walk numbers will be dictated by the number of volunteers available and the suitability of routes.
The government have confirmed that trained Volunteer Walk Leaders come under the 'Personal training/coaching' guidelines. Further information on this updated guidance can be found on the Scottish Government website under the sports, culture and leisure activities section.
To manage this new way of operating Health Walks, some of the measures local walks might have in place could include – using booking systems to pre-book your place on the walk or using shorter or slower routes for those getting back into physical activity.
We hope you’re looking forward to rejoining your local Health Walk, or perhaps interested in joining for the first time. Each Health Walk project is restarting their walks in a way that’s right for them, their volunteers and their walkers, so please get in touch with your local project to check what their plans for restarting are.
Advice for Volunteer Walk Leaders
We have produced guidance to provide practical advice to Walk Leaders restarting volunteering post lockdown, which you can download here: