Development of a training module for volunteers to deliver guided walks and other activities on and around the North Downs Way National Trail
The North Downs Way Ambassador Scheme developed a training module for people to deliver activities (walks/ talks/ themed events) on and around the North Downs Way National Trail.
Twenty-two Ambassadors were initially trained learning about the North Downs Way, landscape heritage, biodiversity, how to lead a walk, health and safety and visitor welcome. Training materials and a resource pack were produced and available on a dedicated web portal which Ambassadors can access when required to deliver their events.
Importantly, all trained ambassadors become automatic members of the well-established Surrey Hills Society to provide insurance cover for their Ambassador Activity. This important to ensure confidence that they can deliver a public event with the correct insurance in place. It also gives a promotional and support network for all Ambassadors to create and deliver a wide range of rural and cultural events connected to the North Downs Way National trail.
The Ambassador Toolkit provides details on how to lead a good walk on the North Downs Way National trail and the resources can be accessed here

Resources needed

Officer time to develop and manage 6 months
Delivery of Training sessions - £750
Training materials - £500
Creation of Toolkit - £250
Creation of volunteer web portal - £180

Evidence of success

22 Ambassadors trained
Over 50 walks and events delivered
Over 600 participants
One Ambassador has created a new business , a commercial guided walk service
Ambassadors deliver events in 4 annual walking festivals
A local tour operator has recruited Ambassadors to help meet a rise in demand
Requests for more Ambassador Training Sessions
Requests for additional 1st Aid training for Ambassadors
Ambassadors have supported 6 partner events along the trail

Difficulties encountered

Ongoing officer time is required for management, promotion, updating and communication

Potential for learning or transfer

Any region could copy the same training programme for their national trails but replacing the information with their own locally distinctive heritage

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Main institution
Kent Downs AONB
Start Date
September 2018
End Date


catherine bradley Please login to contact the author.