Sat out on the edge of the Warburg Nature Reserve near Bix village hall in Oxfordshire I helped marshal the annual Christian Aid walk with members of the Reading and District Amateur Radio Club. This is a very relaxed event where we use the radios to keep track of the walkers to make sure that they do not get lost. I have a nice checkpoint by Pages Farm which is conveniently located within walking distance of the disabled toilet at the nature reserve visitor centre.
I have to radio in when I see the first walkers for each of the 5, 10, and 15 mile routes. The other marshals at the checkpoint have a sheet and check off the walkers numbers as they pass. Some of the walkers stop for a chat and to eat their sandwiches.
When all the walkers have been accounted for at my checkpoint I radio in that they have all passed and then wait for the sweeper to arrive. The sweeper is the last person to go round the course, collecting the direction signs, and officially closing the checkpoints.
Afterwards I went to the village hall, where the control station is based, where I had a drink and a biscuit while chatting with the other radio operators who had already been stood down, while we waited for the sweep to return.
Once the sweep was in we were all able to pack up and go home.
To do the walk requires sponsorship or a £20 donation to Christian Aid, however volunteering to sit in the countryside is free.