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Activity Information Form

The purpose of these pages is to:

  1. Explain what activities need permits and how the permit system works
  2. Enable permit holders to review their permits
  3. Enable leaders to apply for a new or upgraded permit
  4. Explain water safety training promoted in Lonsdale District
  5. Explain and support the writing of activity risk assessments
  6. Give information about individual activities

Permits – how does it all work?

Scouts have a unique position in the UK in being legally allowed to lead activities with young people without the need for an AALA licence. Instead Scouts have an internally managed permit system which ensures that Scout activity leaders are suitably skilled to lead activities safely. It is important that all activities in Scouts use and follow the permit system fully, otherwise young people are put in danger and the system comes into disrepute.

Most, but not all, adventurous activities require a permit to lead them. See below for details.

There are 2 routes to obtain a Scouting activity permit:

    1. If you have a relevant NGB award (eg, Mountain Leaders Award awarded by MLTB) you can apply for a permit. Submit a permit application form, copy of your certificate and log book of experience to the ADC Activities. These will be passed to the County Activity Assessor, who will normally automatically recommend a permit. This will be granted by the DC. Most permits will have conditions attached. These conditions must be adhered to.
    2. If you have experience of an activity, but do not have an NGB award you can still apply for a permit. Submit a permit application form, copy of your certificate and log book of experience to the ADC Activities. These will be passed to the County Activity Assessor, who will contact you to arrange a practical assessment of your skills and leadership ability, if this is satisfactory a permit will be recommended, or you may be advised to obtain further experience or coaching. The permit will be granted by the DC. Most permits will have conditions attached. These conditions must be adhered to.

N.B. Any leaders leading activities which require a permit with Scouts, who do not have the relevant permit, or outside the remit of their permit, will be acting outside of Scouts POR. They will not be insured, and are at risk of bringing themselves and Scouts at District level and nationally into disrepute. They may also be liable to prosecution under the law. Such actions may result in appointments being withdrawn.

Permit holders in Lonsdale District

Look at the District Permit holders’ spreadsheet here to find a permitted activity leader; or to review your own permit.

Applying for permits

You can apply for a permit at any time, but you will need to show that you have either a relevant NGB award, or sufficient skill and experience to safely lead young people in the activity. You will also need to produce a logbook of your experience.

Complete the permit application form and send it to the ADC Activities at

If you wish to upgrade or renew your permit, you can do this at any time using the same procedure.

If you need any help or advice for this contact the ADC Activities.

Water Safety Qualifications

In Lonsdale we now promote and run 2 different water safety qualifications. Any leaders taking groups of young people on or near water will be expected to complete one of these courses.

If you lead boat-based or ghyll scrambling activities the BCU Foundation Safety and Rescue Training course (FSRT) is the one you need.

If you visit or lead activities on a river or canal bank, or a lake shore, or a beach, you are asked to take the RLSS National Water Safety Management Programme course (NWSMP).

Both of these courses will be on the Lonsdale training programme regularly.

Risk Assessments for Activities

You will need to write, record and retain a risk assessment for any activity you lead.

Risk assessments are a process intended to help you consider and record what risks may be involved in leading an activity, and what reasonable precautions (control measures) a leader should take to minimise those risks. A risk assessment should not normally stop you doing an activity, it should help you to do it safely.

You can write your own risk assessment for each activity, or you can adapt an earlier risk assessment as long as you consider what differences there may be in the activity, the group or the conditions which may affect the risks. Alternatively, you can adapt one of the generic risk assessments below.

Information on Individual Activities

Activities are an integral part of Scouting, and what makes it so exciting for the young people involved. The national pages are a good source for the rules on various activities, there is also an A-Z to help inspire you, but what we hope to do here is link you to local places and ideas for activities.

Firstly – do you need a permit? The best place to look is to find the activity on the national member resources. This will tell you if you need a permit or additional insurance (the latter mostly only for motor sport or high risk activities), and if so what qualifications are required.

Slightly confusingly some permittable activities can be done, to a lower risk level, without a permit!
This includes:

      • Walking on Terrain Zero (below 500m, and no more than half an hour walk from a metalled road)
      • Mountain Biking on Terrain Zero (below 500m, and no more than half an hour walk from a metalled road)
      • Canoe / Kayaking on Class C waters (safe inland waters (including inland lakes, lochs, rivers, canals or other stretches of placid water) which are less than 100 metres wide throughout the region being used and where surface turbulence is limited to the regular waves produced by wind action (this includes slow flowing water such as rivers and canals where the flow causes little effect); and swimming pools)

If you are leading activities on Terrain Zero or Class C waters without a permit you will still need to notify the DC, and obtain specific permission, before undertaking the activity.

For more information about this contact

The following activities always require a permit regardless of where they take place – this includes public places and Scout property:

      • Caving
      • Climbing / Abseiling
      • Ghyll Scrambling
      • Hill and Mountain walking above 500m or more than half an hour from a road
      • All snow sports such as skiing, snowboarding etc
      • All water-based activities such as Canoeing, Kayaking, Sailing, Rowing, Windsurfing etc (other than Class C waters)

If your activity is not listed, then take a look at the activity pages linked above. The latest information is available there, or by emailing the ADC Activities on

Where to do an activity

Abseiling – See Climbing

Archery – At our campsite Littledale. You must have a permit to lead the session.

Assault CourseWaddecar

Bowling – Ten pin kind is better suited to groups, and more practical for Scouts and younger. Ten pin – Morecambe has a large ten pin bowling centre that does discounts for group from time to time. For the traditional outdoor bowling its best to ask for a contact, usually available from the green or the attached pub.

Camping – On its own a great activity, as any member will tell you. In Lonsdale we can camp cheaply at our activity centres, but you MUST book. Further afield there are centres nationally. Check out this list.

Canoeing– See Kayaking

Caving – Locally we tend to use the area near Ribblehead. This requires a permit. However, there is an artifical caving network at Waddecar

Climbing – Lancaster University has a climbing wall, but requires NGB qualified instructors. Contact the University sports centre for information. Ingleton wall will let Scout permit holders use it. Outdoor climbing can be found at SilverHelme campsite, Ottergear quarry near Littledale, or other venues of the permit holder’s choice. There is also a climbing tower at Waddecar. You MUST have a permit to do any climbing.

Crate Climbing – This is available at Great Tower.

Cycling – Lancaster District is a Celebrating Cycling area with a lot of off road routes including the canal. None of this requires a permit. For off road / off cycle track then see mountain biking.

Ghyll Scrambling – This is a wonderful activity which requires a permit and site specific experience to lead.

Gliding – The West Lancs air activities team with the Bowland Gliding club offer taster sessions in the summer.

High Ropes – There is a new indoor course in Lytham St Annes (Fylde Coast) which has a scouting link to the owner so will be friendly to members. Outdoors there is the course at Great Tower and of course the Go-Ape centre in Grizedale.

Hill and Mountain Walking – there is a lot that can be done in Terrain Zero, but you must obtain DC permission. For instance: around Silverdale, Trough of Bowland, Rivington. Anything above 500m or more than half an hour from a metalled road requires a permit.

Route Plan Form 2016

Karting – There are karting places in Blackpool and Preston (and further afield). Popular with older age ranges such as explorers, but very costly. Note extra insurance IS required. See the national page for information.

Kayaking/Canoeing – To lead activities on Class C waters you will need DC permission, this would include Lancaster Canal and the boating lake at Fleetwood. Other waters require a permit. Paddling activities can be led by instructors at Moor Crag (Great Tower), Brockholes near Preston and on the pond at Waddecar.

Ice Skating – Blackburn Ice Rink is open to the public, and if you go on a Ice Hockey evening you usually watch the match and skate afterwards.

Mountain Biking – most mountain biking strictly falls within the remit of Terrain Zero (below 500m and no more than half an hour walk from a metalled road). However, leading mtb activities is not straight-forward, and specific experience and route knowledge is strongly advised. Prepared mtb routes are available at Grizedale, Rivington and Gisburn, many other informal routes along bridleways are available throughout the District.

Quad Biking – Can be done at Holmescales, Endmoor, Kendal, and some other places in the South Lakes – but is expensive. Note that just like Karting extra insurance is required.

Rowing – A permit is required for this activity.

Sailing – A permit is required for this activity. Sailing activities can be led by instructors at Moor Crag (Great Tower).

Shooting – One of our Campsites. You’ll need a suitable award / qualification to lead the session.

Skiing / Snow Boarding – Another expensive one, can be done in Kendal via Kendal Ski Club‘s artificial slope, or in Manchester at the snow dome next to the Trafford centre. You will need a qualified instructor in both instances.