We are excited to announce that we are working with Islington Council's Bright Start and Bright Futures to grow an outdoors community of Islington families!
We will be hosting a Wild Walk Leader training programme in February 2022 at Whittington Park in Archway. If you live in Islington and would like to help yourself and others to get outdoors more and discover green spaces in Islington, then get involved!
Over three workshops, participants will learn how to design and lead their own Islington Wild Walk, as well as getting to know a supportive team of Wild Walk Leaders.
By the end of the programme, Wild Walk Leaders will have designed 6 NEW Islington Wild Walk maps (available for download and in print, for free!) and will be leading regular community Wild Walks throughout the rest of 2022 (and onwards). Wild Walk Leaders will work together to grow and support a community of Islington-based Outdoor Families, helping their community get outdoors more.
To express your interest and find out more, fill out this form or email Bethany Martin (email@example.com).
What are Wild Walks?
Wild Walks – ‘adventures for children to take their adults on’ – are short walks of about 2km-3km. They can be transformational; fostering friendships and helping children and families enjoy, socialise and play in their local green spaces every day. The aim is to allow outdoor play to happen, connect with nature and have fun!
We believe that a little bit of nature and outdoor play everyday can help us keep healthy and active, feel good, learn, act and be connected. No matter how big or little we are, we can all play!
Did you know? Every child in London lives within 15 minutes walk of a park and yet one in seven London’s children NEVER go to a green space.
What do Wild Walk Leaders do?
Being a Wild Walk Leader is rewarding, fun and creative. It is a great opportunity to get to know your area better and make more friends in your community.
As Wild Walk Leaders, we make sure everyone is welcomed, safe, happy and having fun. We plan Wild Walk routes through large and small green spaces and find spots for picnicking and play. We make sure our walks are flexible and easily accessible to accommodate for all ages, buggy and wheel-chair access, the weather, hungry children, spontaneous play and unexpected adventure!
The time commitment as a Wild Walk Leader is not huge. Ideally you would lead or support one walk a month, but this is flexible and a commitment that can be shared between Wild Walk Leaders. Wild Walks are about 2-3 hours long and 2-3km in distance (we take it slow!). Preparation and feedback time for each Wild Walk to take around 2-3 hours. This means the total monthly commitment for a Wild Walk Leader is up to 6 hours (including the walk).
Wild Walk Leaders are ambassadors for community, outdoor play and nature in our neighbourhoods.
The responsibilities of a Wild Walk Leader include:
- Planning and risk assessing Wild Walk routes.
- Publicising Wild Walks in the community.
- Welcoming families to the Wild Walks.
- Giving a brief introduction to the project and ensuring everyone is prepared for the walk.
- Making sure registration forms (for new families) and registers are completed.
- Leading Wild Walks.
- Taking photos!
- Gaining feedback from families that join the walks.
- Dealing with problems and challenges on the Wild Walks and reporting these to Bright Futures staff.
- Attending occasional Wild Walk Leader meetings and receiving support and mentoring from Outdoor People and Bright Futures Staff.
What support and training do I receive?
You are supported by Outdoor People staff and Islington Bright Futures throughout your journey as a Wild Walk Leader.
Wild Walk Leader Training includes three 3-hour workshops, plus some homework between the workshops. As part of the training, you will plan, plot and lead your own Wild Walk with the support of an experienced Wild Walk Leader. Childcare is available for training commitments, if needed.
The workshops will be 11am - 2pm on a week day (day tbc, depending on availability of trainees) and will be held at Whittington Park, Archway N19 4EG.
Workshop 1: Week commencing 31st January 2022
Workshop 2: Week commencing 14th February 2022
Workshop 3: Week commencing 28th February 2022
You will have access to Outdoor People resources and equipment, become part of a small, supportive network of Wild Walk Leaders in Islington and work closely with Parent Champions and Bright Futures staff. Outdoor People have a wide selection of waterproof clothing for parents and children, at a donation you can afford.
Who are we looking for?
We are looking for enthusiastic people living in Islington that value getting outdoors, playing and walking on a regular basis. Ideally you are a parent, carer or someone who regularly looks after children, however this is not essential. You don’t need any particular experience or even to get outdoors as frequently as you would like, becoming a Wild Walk Leader will help you get out more!
This role is suited to people with good communication skills, who are reliable, well organised, caring and sensitive to people’s needs and are able to speak in front of small groups. You will be closely supported and these skills will develop as you gain confidence and your own style of facilitating the Wild Walks.