Easy Access - walks for everyone, including people with conventional wheelchairs and pushchairs, using easy access paths. Comfortable shoes or trainers can be worn. Assistance may be needed to push wheelchairs on some sections, please contact the group running the walk for details.It is clear that Leisurely and below are not applicable to our walks. Technical may apply to some of our A+ walks. For A walks and below, that leaves us with just Moderate and Strenuous.
Easy - walks for anyone who does not have a mobility difficulty, a specific health problem or is seriously unfit. Suitable for pushchairs if they can be lifted over occasional obstructions. Comfortable shoes or trainers can be worn.
Leisurely - walks for reasonably fit people with at least a little country walking experience. May include unsurfaced rural paths. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are recommended.
Moderate - walks for people with country walking experience and a good level of fitness. May include some steep paths and open country, and may be at a brisk pace. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential.
Strenuous - walks for experienced country walkers with an above average fitness level. May include hills and rough country, and may be at a brisk pace. Walking boots and warm, waterproof clothing are essential. People in doubt about their fitness should contact the organiser or leader in advance.
Technical - walks for experienced and very fit walkers with additional technical skills. May require scrambling and use of ropes, ice axes and crampons. You must contact the organiser or leader in advance for further details.
Moderate walks are for experienced walkers with a “good level of fitness,” and Strenuous walks for those with an "above average level of fitness.” The population under consideration is “experienced country walkers”, or equivalently it seems, “people with country walking experience.” However, there is a big difference between the fitness levels of different walking groups, even in the same part of the country, and our walks are advertised nationally. It is difficult to see how we can make a worthwhile assessment on this basis.
Moderate walks may include some “steep paths and open country”, and Strenuous walks may include “hills and rough country.” When does a steep path become a hill? When does open country become rough country? These are difficult questions to answer, but most of our walks contain hills by any reasonable definition, and it appears that they should be graded Strenuous.
Is an above average level of fitness necessary to walk up a hill? Only if the "experienced country walkers" under consideration have a very low level of fitness. The bar appears to be set very low here. These grades do not look very useful to our own experienced walkers.