Mountain Rescue ask the public to act responsibly

Volunteers from Northumberland National Park and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Teams are anticipating a busy period ahead as lockdown eases on the 29th March.

The teams experienced a surge in incidents when the last lockdown ended and are expecting something similar as people have been in lockdown over the winter.

“We’re asking the public to be prepared and be adventure smart when they head out into the hills this Easter.” says Iain Nixon, team leader for Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team. “We know that an increase in visitors to Northumberland National Park will also mean an increase in call-outs for our teams.”

Keith Briggs, team leader of the North of Tyne team, said: “We’re asking people to follow the #beadventure smart advice and consider three key elements before taking part in any outdoor activities; check the weather, have the right equipment and have the right skills for your level of activity.”

Over the past 12 months, volunteers form both Mountain Rescue Teams have worked closely with partner agencies such as Northumbria Police, Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, North East Ambulance Service, Northumberland National Park Authority and Forestry England to help keep the public safe. The teams responded to 150 incidents in 2020, their busiest year so far.

“Although lockdown is easing, the risks of COVID are still with us and it takes time for our members to don PPE and deploy into the hills. If the public adopts a cautious approach, it will help keep everyone safe.” Iain told us.

For more information about the #beadventuresmart campaign, please visit www.adventuresmart.uk. The British Mountaineering Council also has some useful information for those heading to a climbing crag for the first time this year, see www.thebmc.co.uk/first-climb-think-twice-outdoor-climbing.