Don't get caught out in the dark

Northumberland National Park Authority echo the calls by the area’s Mountain Rescue teams in asking members of the public to remember to plan enough time for their outdoor activities as British Summer time draws to an end this weekend.

“Before anyone sets out for an adventure, remember that you’ll have fewer daylight hours and you can expect it to get dark more quickly. This means you really should be carrying a torch and spare batteries”. Iain Nixon, team leader for Northumberland National Park Team told us. “When teams respond to a call out at night, it can take us longer to get to people. This means that casualties will be sitting out in the cold for much longer.”

Mr Nixon also advises that hill-goers carry enough warm clothing and spare food or a hot drink as temperatures inevitably start to drop.

“We really want people to be adventure smart and follow the advice on the adventuresmart.uk website. Plan your activity based on the amount of daylight you’ve got and your ability level.” Keith Briggs, team leader for North of Tyne team told us.

When responding to mountain-related incidents, mountain rescue teams and other emergency services rely on members of the public being able to provide a location. If you are able to give your exact location as a grid reference from a map or an app such as OS Locate this will greatly assist. Alternatively, a what3words location will help. This means having enough power in your smartphone to make that call, rather than relying on it to be your torch.

Pauline Wall, Director of Park Management at Northumberland National Park Authority added:

“Whilst a little colder, October is still a great time to be exploring Northumberland National Park, but with the burst in autumn colour comes our pristine dark skies, so we are asking everyone to be Adventure Smart – please check the weather, your kit and your skills before visiting the National Park. These three simple steps will help everyone to stay safe and will support the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team’s volunteers to continue to provide an effective rescue service for anyone who needs it.”

If you do get lost or are injured in the hills, moors and forests and can call for help, then dial 999, ask for Police and then Mountain Rescue.

It is vital that anyone planning a day in the outdoors is #AdventureSmart. Everyone needs to think about their skills and capabilities, anticipate the weather and have the equipment and clothing to stay safe.

  • Mountain rescue volunteers are doing everything they can to stay well and keep an effective rescue service available in the weeks and months ahead. We ask for the public’s support in doing this.
  • Any call out to an injured walker, climber or cyclist could involve a large number of volunteer team members, especially if a stretcher carry is involved. This means using PPE and risking the volunteers’ own health and that of their families.

Members of the public can get more information about planning their trips and on being Adventure Smart at https://www.adventuresmart.uk/