Please take a moment to read this document fully as it contains important information concerning the safety of yourself and others, and our conditions of participation. If you have any questions regarding the information in this document, please contact South Downs Tours.CONDITIONS OF PARTICIPATION
Children and families are welcome when accompanied by the adult who registered the places and accepts responsibility for their safety and actions during the tour. Children under 16 must be supervised by their parent(s) or guardian(s) at all times. Children must be five years or older to participate.HEALTH & SAFETY
Your safety is the primary concern during the tour. We want you to enjoy the day and minimise the risk of injury occurring to you and your companions. Like many recreational activities, it is not possible to eliminate all dangers and in extreme cases this could result in serious injury or even death. The tour will take you to areas with high rates of erosion, mostly due to natural processes but sometimes by the actions of people. In these areas you will likely encounter unpredictable terrain including, but not limited to: sheer drops, falling rocks, slippery/unstable surfaces. Throughout the tour we will seek to minimise the risk to participants by avoiding apparent areas/activities of greatest danger and keeping at least 5 metres from the cliff edge and cliff base. Prevailing weather conditions may mean the planned route is changed on the day to reduce the risk to participants. Children must be at least 5 years old to participate. We advise against participation if you have a medical condition that may heighten your personal risk. Below is a risk assessment that outlines the common dangers you should be aware of before agreeing to attend the tour. There may be other unforeseen dangers not described. Bad weather conditions may heighten the extent of the risk.SAFETY & RESPONSIBILITY
The following notice is provided to clarify that you are responsible for your personal safety and those who accompany you and exclude the tour guide from liability in the event of an accident or injury during the tour. The tour guide will seek to minimise the risk to participants to the best of his ability by avoiding areas/activities of greatest known/apparent danger. By participating in the tour, you agree to take responsibility for your own safety and those that accompany you. The tour guide cannot provide one-to-one supervision to the whole group simultaneously and you must therefore act with responsibility and common sense independent of the tour guide.
There are potential hazards in the locations visited that could result in serious injury or even death. By agreeing to participate in the tour, you are confirming to have read and understood the hazards outlined in the risk assessment provided. This information should be considered alongside your own experience and research before attending.POOR WEATHER
Tours will continue in all weathers unless there is a cause for concern over safety. The prevailing weather and condition of the terrain may mean the planned route is changed on the day to reduce the risk to participants. We are unable to accept any responsibility for participation during unfavourable or severe weather conditions. By attending the tour, you agree to continually assess the weather and environmental conditions (on behalf of yourself and those who accompany you) and make a personal judgment whether to proceed. It is your responsibility to dress appropriately with regard to the current weather conditions which should include wearing a sensible pair of shoes, possibly a waterproof jacket and an extra layer for windy conditions on top of the Downs. Please see the FAQ page on the website. Local weather conditions can also be found on the home page of this website. If you have any questions relating to safety, please contact us prior to the tour.PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE
South Downs Tours is fully insured and has up to £10m Public Liability insurance.CODE OF CONDUCT
Some locations visited are geologically and environmentally sensitive. We ask all participants to respect the locations visited and avoid causing damage to any in situ material. We ask all participants to act responsibly throughout the tour and avoid causing unnecessary disturbance to other members of the group or the general public. Should your actions result in disturbance or injury to a member of the group or the public (whether they are part of the tour or not), you agree to take complete responsibility.PERSONAL PROPERTY
There is a large area for luggage in the minibus and passengers are welcome to leave property there when out and about and this will be covered by insurance. However, South Downs Tours is unable to accept responsibility for personal property left at any location or carried with you. You understand that should your actions, or the actions of anyone who accompanies you, cause damage to the property of South Downs Tours, any third parties, the land owner (if applicable), other participants on the tour, or the general public, that you are solely responsible.PHOTOGRAPHY
Please be aware that a digital camera/phone may be in use by the tour guide during the tour. These photos will be stored for future reference and possibly published online, on social media, or in printed documents. If you do not agree that any photos featuring yourself or members of the group can be used publicly either commercially or non-commercially, please inform South Downs Tours by letter or email. If you would like a copy of any photos taken during the tour, please contact South Downs Tours by email.CANCELLATION
The vast majority of tours will proceed as planned, however should a tour be cancelled due to bad weather, or any other unseen circumstance, those booked in will be offered places on an alternative tour or a full refund will be paid. Participants will be notified by email if a tour needs to be cancelled, please check your inbox regularly in the week leading up to the tour. If you provide a mobile number when booking, we will also send a text message if the announcement is urgent, i.e. within 24 hours of the planned tour date.
You may cancel your places on the tour at any point prior to scheduled date. A full refund will be issued if 28 days or more notice is provided by email; if cancellation occurs within 28 days of the tour the refund will be subject to a 50% charge; we are unable to provide a refund if the cancellation takes place within 3 days of the tour as it is unlikely we will find participants to fill your place(s).RISK ASSESSMENT
The following risk assessment is intended to make clear the dangers you will likely encounter during the tour and the steps we can take to minimise the risk to yourself and others. Please read the details fully and ensure everyone accompanying you or within your care is also fully informed. There may be other dangers not listed below.
|Activity||Possible hazard||Possible outcome||Low/Medium/High||Control|
|Before mini bus departs||Individual late/does not arrive||Delayed departure||H||Guide to have contact number of all passengers bookedon tour.
Call individual, advise that minibus must leave by 9.05 otherwise they will need to catch a bus up to Beachy Head.
|Individual knocked by car when embarking or disembarking the minibus||Serious injury||L||Park to allow passengers to embark from pavement.
Ask all passengers to keep to the side of car park
Get passengers loaded as soon as possible
|Minibus travel||Passenger feeling sick||Vomit/unpleasant smell||L||Bring plastic bags/wipes|
|Passenger falling sick||First aid required - call emergency services||L||Check for any medical issues (including Asthma and Epi-pens) before Minibus sets off|
|Vehicle breakdown on carriageway||Passengers could be seriously injured if inside vehicle when hit by another vehicle or standing beside stricken minibus||L||Ask passengers to leave vehicle, from verge side if possible. Passengers to move and stay a safe distance from roadside until assistance/ replacement|
|On the Downs||Individual too tired to continue||Tour held up||L||Agree a waiting place at time. Guide to come back to collect them.|
|Individual falling ill/unable to continue||Slight illness/serious health issue /Tour held up||L||Allow passenger to remain in minibus
Apply first aid
|Individual loses group||Visitor upset/confused||L||Establish a meeting point, ensure passengers know where minibus is parked|
|Slippery Surfaces||Slipping and falling could result in twisted ankles, sprained wrists and impacts to the body and head||M||Passengers asked to walk carefully and slowly at all times, especially downhill|
|Vertical drops||Serious injury or Death||L||Establish 5m guideline: Passengers to keep at least 5m from edge of cliff|
|On the Beach||Falling Rocks||The chalk cliffs are liable to partial or large-scale collapse without warning.
Individual boulders or large sections of the cliff face may fall to the beach below.
Possible even death
|L||Establish 5m rule: Passengers to keep at least 5m from base of cliff|
|Arrival (Eastbourne)||Individual knocked by car when embarking or disembarking the minibus||Serious injury||L||Park to allow passengers to disembark to pavement|