‘Be Adventure Smart’ and plan ahead before visiting the park

With the clocks going back this week, we and our friends at Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue are reminding visitors to Northumberland National Park to take care and ‘Be Adventure Smart’ before heading out into the wilderness.

With fewer daylight hours, both organisations are urging the public to:

  • plan ahead
  • tell someone where you are going, and
  • make sure you have the right kit.

Planning ahead includes, checking the weather forecast before you set out and knowing when the sun will set. Checking the length of your walk and its suitability for everyone in your party.

Telling friends and family where you are going and when you will be back is an essential safety set and this simple act has helped to many save lives in the hills and mountains of Northumberland.

Check you have the correct equipment for Autumn and Winter. A torch is an essential as well as spare batteries. You will need to take extra layers with you so hat, gloves, and a fleece, as well as winter-weight boots with good grip.

We encourage visitors not just to rely on their mobile phones for navigation, as the phone signal is intermittent in the park. That is why it is always sensible to take a map and compass with you.

The National Park regularly runs skills building courses for the public, often including map reading. The next course available is learning .

The next course available is learning night-time navigation skills and a place can be booked via our website.

In the unfortunate event that you need to report an emergency, you can contact the Mountain Rescue by dialling 999, asking for ‘police’, then ‘mountain rescue’.

A mountain rescue volunteer will give advice on what to do until the rescue team arrives. Providing a grid reference or using what3words can help speed up the rescue team locating you.

The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team is made up by unpaid volunteers and so any callout means they must leave their jobs or homes and can put them at risk.

A photograph of Head Ranger Margaret Anderson

Margaret Anderson, Senior Ranger at Northumberland National Park Authority is urging people to take sensible precautions before setting off for an adventure in the park this season. She said:

“Northumberland National Park is beautiful, but you must take sensible precautions, and we urge people to follow the ‘Adventure Smart’ advice of the mountain rescue team and to plan ahead, tell someone where you’re going and when you’re due home, and to make sure you pack the right kit with you.

“Being prepared and keeping an eye on the weather forecast, helps to keep you safe but also reduces the pressure on the mountain rescue team and emergency services during this Autumn and Winter period.”

There is a full walking checklist on our website to help you stay safe in the park and presents a handy guide for anyone wanting to get out in the park.