Category Details

These definitions are for guidance only, and cannot be regarded as definitive. They take into account path surfaces and general quality of the going and a view of the gradients and cambers likely to be encountered.

These categories are similar to the Zone definitions described in the Countryside Agency publication: ‘By All Reasonable Means’. (Page 37 – 41.)
Category 1 maps to Zone A, Category 2 maps to Zone B, Category 3 maps to Zone C. Category 4 goes beyond the Countryside Agency Zone guidance system.


Category 1

Category 1 (previously described as ‘Easy’) implies generally high quality surfaces along the route. The surfaces will be for the most part, smooth and all weather. This means tarmac or good quality crushed stone will predominate. However, there may occasionally be short stretches of rougher path and some seasonal surfaces such as grass or compressed earth. The path will be adequately wide, with a normal standard of 1.5m, though ‘pinch points’ may occur, for example through gates. Cross slopes will be normally very small say up to 1 in 12. Occasionally cross slopes may be steeper, but there will usually be ways around such sections.

There will be no steep hills greater than 1 in 12, except, perhaps, for very short stretches and the total significant  height climbed during the ramble will not exceed 30 metres. (See * Note below)

User & Scooter Guidance

Category 1 is designed for almost all scooters and buggies, and many power-chairs. Additionally, users of manual chairs may manage the routes provided the rider is either powerfully built with plenty of upper body strength, or is assisted by able-bodied pushers. Typical distance 4 to 8 miles.


Category 2

Category 2 (previously described as ‘Moderate’) expects generally good surfaces, but allows longer stretches of stony going (stones up to 40mm) beaten earth or grass track-way, The path will be adequately wide, generally of the order of 1.5m, though a number of narrow stretches down to 1.2m may be present as well as ‘pinch points’ through gates etc. Small steps not bigger than 40mm may be encountered. Cross slopes will generally be very small, but sections involving cambers, say up to 1 in 8 may occur for short stretches. Small stretches of soft going or involving ruts (up to 40mm) will occasionally be encountered, but usually these may be bypassed.

Hills will generally be no more than 1 in 10, with occasional steeper stretches up to 1 in 8. Total significant  height climbed may be up to 150 metres in a day. (See * Note below)

User & Scooter Guidance

Category 2 is considered generally suitable for very many scooters and buggies, particularly those with medium size, or large, wheels and adequate batteries (at least 50ah capacity, or preferably 60ah). Four wheel machines are recommended, although some 3 wheelers are acceptable, if driven with care. Some heavy duty power chairs may be used, if adequately supported by an able bodied helper who can steady the machine downhill or on cross cambers. Occasionally users of manual chairs may take part, provided the rider is exceptionally strong in the upper body, and/or has at least one strong fully able-bodied helper. Typical distance 4 to 8 miles.


Category 3

Category 3 (previously described as ‘Challenging’) means longer stretches of rough going with side slopes and some ruts (max depth 100mm). The paths may well be stony tracks with quite large stones (some stones max 100mm), or there may be very wet and soft sections. Occasional steps up to 100mm may be encountered). Cambers may also be correspondingly steeper, sometimes in excess of 1 in 8.

Hills may be long and steep, with some stretches even up to 1 in 5, or very occasionally 1 in 4. Total significant  height climbed during a day may be up to 300 metres. (See * Note below)

User & Scooter Guidance

Category 3 is designed for users of very heavy and powerful scooters or buggies only. The distance covered may be highly variable – from 4 miles if along a very hilly route with long steep climbs, up to 8 miles along more level routes. Category 3 routes should present few problems to experienced users of heavy duty buggies.


Category 4

Category 4 (also previously described as ‘Challenging’) covers paths and trails outside of the three categories defined above.

User & Scooter Guidance

Category 4 is only for adventurous users of heavy duty buggies, prepared to try routes that may prove impassable. Participation in rambles of this nature will be at the discretion of the Rambles Organiser and the Rambles Manager on the day. Typical distance 4 to 12 miles.


The height assessment used as a basis of route classification is based upon clearly identifiable hills along the route.

Normal small ups and downs encountered on any ramble are discounted.

The purpose of this assessment is based upon recognizing the impact of hills on battery capacity and the heating and possible safety cutouts of small electric motors over sustained climbs.






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