Themes and criteria
1. The LQT-BE, Day Walk consist of 8 themes.
2. The criteria are according to this document.
3. Organisations (tourism organisation, nature reserve, cultural, environmental, or walking organisation, municipality, etc.) interested in obtaining the certificate “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe, Day Walk” contact the European Ramblers Association (hereafter: ERA) to start the process.
4. ERA offers regional standard European training courses to national organisations and people. The local trail scouts can gather the necessary data for the trail inventory after a course. The local interest groups involved in walking (walking, cultural or environmental organisations/associations, nature reserves, tourism, forestry, etc.) can nominate up to minimum 8 maximum 12 suitable and competent people for the training to become a local trail scout. The costs of providing the standard European training course is in this page. The training of local experts and the following process is managed and accounted for by the national experts.
5. The trained local trail scouts gather the necessary data for the accreditation (inventory analysis) and prepare a provisional assessment of the day walk/trail. This will show up unsuitable sections e.g., long stretches of sealed surface, or where the route of the trail is not varied/interesting enough. Thus, areas not meeting the required standard can easily be identified.
6. When the trail meets the criteria of “Leading Quality Trails – Best of Europe, Day Walk”, an application for certification must be made to ERA. The data recorded during the inventory – as specified at the training course – are submitted with the application.
7. In accordance with the principles of sustainability the organisation applying declares that the trail complies with all environmental protection guidelines (especially in sensitive areas like nature reserves, biotopes etc.) and assures that the trail is maintained and waymarked for the period of certification.
8. ERA verifies and independently processes and analyses (strengths/weakness analysis) the locally collected data.
9. Following this, the trail is inspected by a qualified ERA inspector.
The Inspector will contact the national experts and trail scouts to coordinate the inspection. The data collected by ERA is compared with the data submitted by the applicant.
When the ERA Inspector has verified the trail as LQT-BE, Day Walk, a trail assessment report is made by ERA and ERA certifies the trail as LQT-BE, Day Walk for a period of 3 years.
If the Inspector has not verified the trail as LQT-BE, Day Walk – e.g., because some criteria are not fulfilled – the applicant will – pending situation – improve the trail together with the trail scouts and prove the needed improvements to the inspector.
10. The LQT-BE, Day Walk label can be used for marketing purposes in printed and electronic media.
12. In order to keep the certificate the LQT-BE, Day Walk must be recertified every 3 years.
13. Recertification takes place:
- By local trail scouts, who collect and assess the data.
- By ERA inspectors, that inspect the trail.
Latest criteria are used for inspection on location. In addition, the information board, and other signs on the trail as well as the markings on the trail are checked. Finally, the website and possibly folders are checked and updated if necessary.
New registration form is completed by the national expert and sent to ERA for approval.
14. When everything is in order, the trail is recertified for further 3 years by ERA.