Founded 1889 – Affiliated to Yorkshire Naturalists' Union

Safety Information of Society

Advice on Safety and Good Practice for Members and Guests
Issued 2004

Why Have Guidelines ?

Scarborough Field Naturalists' Society is a small society run entirely by volunteers.  The officers of the society are elected from the membership and are not paid professional staff.  Due to changes in attitude towards risk and accident the officers have to take steps to protect themselves and members from litigation.  Because of the size of the society, insuring against risk is not an option.  The premiums are expensive.  The officers must advise the members and guests of safety advice and good practice and of any risks resulting from the society's activities.

Indoor Meetings

Fire: The risk from fire is very small, but members should acquaint themselves with the fire exits.  These have illuminated signs.

Electricity: Electrical equipment is tested in accordance with the regulations.

Slips, trips and bumps: When the projector is in use, electrical cables may be laid across the floor.  Please take care when walking in the vicinity of the projector and the central walkway.

Outdoor Meetings

Clothing: Please come equipped for a walk in the countryside.  Wear stout footwear.  Some outings may require wellington boots.  Always bring waterproof clothing.  Bring a packed lunch on all day outings, and a torch at night.

Difficulty: Only you can assess your capabilities.  Walks are rarely strenuous, but are occasionally hilly and, due to the exploratory nature of the activity, may be off the tracks and paths.  Leaders may give some idea of the terrain when they announce the schedule for the day.  If you have any doubts about the suitability of the event for you, enquire further with the outing leader.  You will then have to decide.

First Aid: Few members have first aid training.  Members are advised to bring a personal first aid kit of the type readily available at most pharmacies.  If you feel unwell, let others know and if necessary they will assist you as well as they are able.

Slips, trips and bumps: Field trips are across a variety of ground types and sometimes through thick vegetation.  Field trips are never rushed, but always take extra care when walking 'off path'.

Evening outings: Take a torch, but do not use unless you have to.  Do not shine it in other peoples faces.  Be aware it is easier to bump into things and trip up at night.  On 'moth trapping' evenings, avoid looking directly at the lamps used to attract the moths.  Always keep with the group.

Vehicles: Vehicles are sometimes left in remote places.  They have rarely been broken into.  Do not leave property on view or make a show of locking it away.  Take all valuables with you.

General: If you bring along a guest, make sure they are aware of these guidelines.  If you decide to go home early, make sure you tell the event leader.

Guidance For Leaders of Outings

  1. Give out as much information as possible about the event when it is announced at an evening meeting.
  2. Don't organise events to places you do not know or have never visited.
  3. If non-members turn up at the rendezvous point, offer them advice about the type of walk.  Show them these guidelines.
  4. If people are obviously ill-equipped, advise them not to go.
  5. Check the weather and don't go if the forecast is bad.
  6. If walking on the seashore, make sure you know the tides are safe.
  7. If you have never led an outing before, talk to some of the more experienced leaders.
  8. Make a note of the numbers on the walk – that way you will know if anyone goes missing.

These guidelines are intended to ensure people have a safe, enjoyable time with the society.  They are not rules.  If members have suggestions for improvements or additions please pass them on to the safety officer.