News

Limited Edition T-Shirt in aid of Mountain Rescue

Cabin TimesArtist Jeffrey Bowman has designed a t-shirt which is being sold in aid of LDSAMRA. Jeffrey has previously designed for the welsh clothing company Howies, and his work can be seen at www.jeffrey-bowman.co.uk

He is originally from the Lakes area, and often spends time in the hills here, so wanted to make a contribution to Lake District MR.

His T-shirt, Cabin Times, can be ordered from http://www.printforgood.co.uk/pfg07/


Posted - Thu 21 Aug 2014

Patterdale MRT celebrate 50 Years

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team’s former deputy leader fired two rounds from a shotgun, to mark the 50th anniversary of its formation – the original signal to call out volunteer member to muster for a rescue.

Guests joined current and past members at Patterdale Hall today to celebrate the team’s first 50 years.

Chairman of the trustees John Williams put together a slide show of images jog memories. He said: “Since the team was established by Dr James Ogilvie in 1964, many people have been active hill members of the team and, of course, there are also many people who’ve supported us in the background and made things work smoothly.”

Three team leaders past and present were at the event as well as several founder members and Christopher Ogilvie, son of the founder, who spoke about his father’s early rescues.

Mr Ogilvie said: “I think Eddie Pool, here to celebrate with the team, remembered some of those early rescues too.

“I certainly recall my father talking about making do for a stretcher with two sticks and a sheet of canvas. While some ideas fizzle out after an initial bang, the team goes on and I think Dad would have been proud to see it going from strength to strength and still with that same commitment.”

Dr Ogilvie used to signal a callout to team members in the valley before the advent of pagers and mobile phones, by firing two rounds from a shotgun .

Stephen Gorton, 87, was one of several founder members at the event and he still lives in the valley: “I have to say that I first joined Patterdale MRT as a conscript rather than as a volunteer,” he said. “I was a close neighbour of Dr Ogilvie and he made sure that several of us nearby were all drafted into the new team.

“Today’s team may be a different generation but it is still the same team and Patterdale parish is proud of it.”

John Williams, chairman of the trustees, said: “This was an occasion to thank our colleagues in mountain rescue across the country for their support, to thank all the partners who work with us such as the air ambulance, the RAF, the local first responders and our neighbouring teams, and also to thank our many supporters in the valley, the Ullswater Steamer and numerous B&Bs and hotels who support our fundraising.

“The team took 31 years to complete its first 1,000 rescues and yet we are already well past 2,000 call outs today with a total of 2,064.

“It was good to celebrate our first 50 years but reassuring to see that we are looking good for the next 50 too.”

The Patterdale team’s patch includes Helvellyn, England’s third highest mountain, with its twin arêtes Striding Edge and Swirral Edge, scenes of many rescues.

Other incidents its members have responded to include the Lockerbie bombing, the Carlisle floods and the Grayrigg train crash.

Patterdale MRT is planning an open day at its rescue centre in Patterdale and an evening lecture on Saturday 25 October. Detail will be announced in the near future on its website.


Posted - Sun 20 Jul 2014

Walker, 81, continues to Barf summit after rescue from crag

BarfAn octogenarian walker continued to the summit of a Lakeland fell after being rescued when she got stuck on steep ground.

The 81-year-old solo walker strayed from the footpath leading up Barf from Thornthwaite yesterday and ended up on difficult ground just below Slape Crag.

Keswick Mountain Rescue Team was called out about 12.25pm after the walker got stuck on craggy terrain.

A team spokesperson said: “She became cragfast, and decided she needed assistance. Rightly so, as this is an area where a number of serious accidents have occurred in recent years.

“The team sent out a small group, approaching from above and below, and located her fairly quickly.

“She was assisted up to the next level with a rope, and then pointed in the direction of the summit.

“The team then returned to base, all hoping that they would be as fit and determined to reach the top at 81.”

The rescue lasted just over two hours and involved 15 volunteer members of the Keswick team


Posted - Tue 3 Jun 2014

More accidents happen on the way down than on the way up -

Walker rescued after breaking leg on Scafell Pike

A walker was stretchered from England’s highest mountain after breaking her leg.

The woman broke her leg on the path leading down Brown Tongue towards Wasdale

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team was called out at 3.50pm yesterday after the woman slipped while coming down the Brown Tongue path from Scafell Pike.

The team’s doctor treated the walker at the scene and she was then stretchered down to Brackenclose in Wasdale.

The three-hour rescue involved 15 volunteer members of Wasdale MRT.


Posted - Wed 28 May 2014

Fundraising For LDSAMRA

Two catering companies have offered to fundraise for LDSAMRA. Tasty Hogs and The Coffee Carriage both provide catering on the Lakeland Trails running events. They will be keeping some collecting buckets for the season, and Mike (Tasty Hogs) and Mark (Coffee Carriage) will be taking part in one of the runs. The first event is this Saturday (31st May) in Staveley, with runs in Coniston, Keswick and Ullswater during the year. If you are there, and you see their buckets, then please make a donation, and say thank you from us!

Posted - Tue 27 May 2014

Rock Fall on Pillar

The team lowers the man in darkness. Photo: Cockermouth MRT More than 30 volunteer rescuers were involved in the night-time rescue of a walker who was trapped by a fallen rock on a Lake District fell.

The man was with three other walkers yesterday when the incident happened near the summit of Pillar, above Ennerdale.

Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team was called out at 8.10pm on Thursday, after reports that the man had also broken his leg.

Team members found the walker near the summit of the 892m (2,927ft) mountain and treated him at the scene.

A team spokesperson said: “He was lowered in the dark on a stretcher to a suitable landing site out of the cloud.

“Once below the cloud a Sea King helicopter from RAF Boulmer winched the casualty at 5am and he was flown to Carlisle hospital.”

The rescue involved 31 Cockermouth MRT members.


Posted - Sun 25 May 2014

Hypothermic mountain biker airlifted off fell

Lake District Mountain Rescue Teams worked seamlessly with the RAF to rescue a hypothermic mountain biker from the high fells. At approximately 14:45 on Saturday 12 April Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team were called to the assistance of a mountain biker who was reported to be suffering from hypothermia on Dollywaggon Pike.

The Team was training with an RAF Seaking helicopter from Boulmer at the time of the call and were able to respond immediately.

Due to low cloud the RAF helicopter initially was limited to taking some Team members as far as Grisedale tarn whilst others made their way on foot. However a window of clear weather enabled the helicopter to reach the casualty site where team members assessed the casualty’s condition. The casualty was then flown to the Cumberland Infirmary, Carlisle, for further treatment. The remainder of the casualty’s party were walked off the fell with the Team.

Sixteen Team members, along with two Cockermouth Team members who were in Patterdale to take part in the helicopter training, and two RAF Mountain Rescue Team members who were training in the area, took part in this rescue which took 3hrs to complete.


Posted - Sun 13 Apr 2014

Winter conditions remain on the tops.

The rescue team searching for a walker missing on a Lake District mountain have found a body.

A 60-year-old man failed to return from a walk on Blencathra on Friday, leading to a search by Keswick mountain rescue team.

They were joined by teams from Cockermouth and Penrith, and an RAF Sea King helicopter at first light on Saturday.

The body was recovered to the north of Sharp Edge, a ridge on the mountain.

Mike Park, from the Cockermouth team, said: "Although it is spring, there are still winter conditions out on the hills, and people need to be prepared for that.

"There might be snow and a cold wind, so if something happens and you have to stay still for a while then you can be caught out.

"With Easter arriving we're asking people please come and visit, but do be careful."

Another walker died in the Scafell area two weeks ago.


Posted - Sun 30 Mar 2014

Wainwright Society donates calendar funds to mountain rescue teams

Seven mountain rescue teams will benefit from sales of a calendar produced by aficionados of the late guidebook author Alfred Wainwright.

The Wainwright Society’s 2014 calendar raised £7,500, part of which will be used to waymark the Coast to Coast Walk devised by the Kendal-based writer.

The mountain rescue teams which cover the route of the walk will receive the remainder of the cash, £4,450.

One of the teams, Kirkby Stephen, will use its share to buy a mobile satellite broadband internet system, so internet communications can be set up wherever an advance control vehicle is placed. The system will also provide resilience in case the base internet connection goes down.

Kirkby Stephen team member, David Stewart said: “Internet access is steadily becoming much more integral to the efficiency of searches and in keeping other emergency services up to date on progress.

“This sort of one-off expenditure is on top of the funds the team needs to simply run its operations, so it is really welcome that the Wainwright Society is able to make such a significant donation towards the purchase of the equipment.”

Other teams to receive cash from the society are: Cockermouth, Keswick, Patterdale, Penrith, Swaledale and Cleveland.

The Wainwright Society will be producing a 2015 Calendar, which will go on sale later this year. Profits will go to the Brathay Exploration Trust, the society’s main beneficiary this year.


Posted - Thu 20 Mar 2014

Buy a Book in Aid of LDSAMRA

The Four Points Ramble Association has produced a book, called Cumberland and Westmorland Ramble.

"Not really a guide book, much more a slow travel diary, this book is intended for the armchair traveller, but may also inspire the active walker."

Some of the Lakes teams have copies to sell, and copies can also be posted out. It has a cover price of £7.99. Please use the Contact Us tab to get in touch if you are interested in getting a copy posted to you.

Though the book is being sold in some places in aid of four charities, all of the proceeds from the ones we sell go to LDSAMRA.

Posted - Tue 18 Feb 2014

Mountain Rescue Teams on standby to help in floods

FloodingVolunteer mountain rescuers in the West of the country have been put on standby today after the Met Office warned of more storms and possible flooding.

Teams in Cumbria, north Wales and south-west England are on alert as further extreme weather threatens to add to existing flooding.

Rescue volunteers from three Cumbrian teams, Duddon and Furness, Wasdale and Cockermouth, have been involved in emergency planning discussions with local organisations, including Cumbria County Council and the Environment Agency.

All the Cumbrian teams are on standby to help and to support any flood rescue efforts as needed, Mountain Rescue England and Wales said.


Posted - Tue 7 Jan 2014

New Year's Honours for Mountain Rescuers

Arthur Littlefair, KSMRTThree MBEs were awarded to Cumbrian Mountain Rescuers in the New Year's Honours list.

Team Leader at Kirkby Stephen MRT, Arthur Littlefair, was rewarded for the contribution he has made to Mountain Rescue for over 40 years. There was also recognition for two doctors, for their work outside of MR.

Doctor Theo Weston, a Patterdale MRT member, was rewarded for his services to victims of trauma, and Doctor Mike Greene, of Wasdale MRT, was rewarded for his services to health and the community in Whitehaven.

Posted - Fri 3 Jan 2014

The longest night

At approximately 9am on Saturday 21st December a hill-walker knocked on the door of a farmhouse just above Howtown, Ullswater, to report that his friend was laying injured on the mountain side.

Seventeen hours earlier the man’s friend had fallen over fracturing his ankle. With darkness not far away, and with no mobile phone signal, the men chose to find shelter and spend the night on the mountain. They found a derelict building and set about making themselves as comfortable as possible to sit out the longest night of the year – without a doubt a very long night given the storm that pursued.

At first light on Saturday morning the man’s friend descended to the valley to raise the alarm.

At approximately 9:15am the 999 call to the Police was relayed to Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team and a short while later fifteen team members and three Landrover ambulances were on their way.

The Great North Air Ambulance attempted to assist but the atrocious weather prevented the helicopter from getting anywhere near. Team members therefore ascended the mountain with the help of the farmer who transported a stretcher and medical equipment as far as his quad bike would go.

When the team arrived at the man’s location he was sheltering under a nylon sheet. He had poor circulation in his foot and the team treated him for severe pain and placed him a warm casualty bag. The team then carried him for about 90 minutes to a waiting Landrover, which had driven through a river to reach him. He was then transported to hospital in an ambulance.

The rescue lasted four and a half hours. Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team would like to thank the farmers for assisting them with the rescue today. Given the conditions their help was very much appreciated.


Posted - Sun 22 Dec 2013

Winter conditions are here again

MickledoreThe Lake District Weatherline Fell Top Conditions service is up and running again for the winter, giving vital information for all winter walkers and climbers.

The experienced Fell Top Assessors climb Helvellyn every day to take wind, temperature and snow measurements, which are combined with the Met Office mountain forecasts to give a daily detailed picture of the weather and conditions on the Cumbrian Fells, and an accurate outlook for the following day.

The Weatherline website can be found at www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk be accessed and a recorded message can be heard on 0844 846 2444


Posted - Wed 4 Dec 2013

Christmas Cards in Aid of LDSAMRA

Lake District Based photographer Nina Kathryn Claridge is selling packs of cards which support LDSAMRA. They are available in Brantwood Coniston,

Blackwell Arts and Crafts House Windermere,

number fifteen Cockermouth,Yew Tree Barn High Newton,Made in Cumbria Kendal, Ullswater TIC and

Holker Hall. Or order direct from Nina's website...

http://www.ninaclaridge.com/shop.html#!/~/product/category=4237628&id=29275196


Posted - Mon 25 Nov 2013

Kendal MRT welcome a new team leader

A Cumbrian mountain rescue team has a new leader.

Dave Howarth has taken over as Kendal Mountain Search and Rescue Team, after Eddie Harrison stepped down from the role after four years in charge.

Mr Howarth thanked his predecessor for his contribution and said he wanted to build on the great professionalism and capabilities of the team and ensure that it moves forward to meet the challenges which inevitably lie ahead.

Tony Womack joined Kath Jackson as a deputy team leader of the Kendal volunteers.


Posted - Tue 12 Nov 2013

Mountain Rescue In Houses of Parliament

Representatives of Mountain Rescue teams from England and Wales, including some from LDSAMRA, have visited the Houses of Parliament this week. They have been busy making MPs aware of the valuable work that Mountain Rescue teams do.

Posted - Thu 31 Oct 2013

The nights are drawing in

Remember to pack a head torch and spare batteriesThe weekend sees the coincidence of half-term school holidays in many areas, and the end of British Summer Time across the UK.

And experts are pleading with walkers heading for the hills to take account of curtailed daylight and cooler weather.

Heather Morning, mountain safety adviser with the Mountaineering Council of Scotland, said

"As the clocks go back, hill walkers should ‘winterise’ their packs"

She said: “A headtorch is a crucial bit of kit for these shorter days.

“It can make the difference between getting home safely and spending the night out on the mountainside, lost or injured.

“Shorter daylight hours, dropping temperatures and the first dusting of snow on the hills are obvious indicators for hillwalkers to think about extra kit in their rucksacks.

“A headtorch, with a spare battery, is crucial just in case your chosen route takes a wee bit longer than expected.

“It’s also well worth considering putting away those lightweight, bendy summer boots and changing into a more rigid pair.

“Consider wearing extra layers of clothing too, with a synthetic duvet jacket and emergency shelter stored in the bottom of your rucksack just in case you are stationary on the hill for any length of time.

“And hats, gloves – I recommend at least two pairs – and face protection, such as a buff, will all add to your comfort on the hill as we move towards the winter season.

“Our autumn and winter weather is notoriously unpredictable and you won’t always wear this extra kit, but it should be there in your rucksack so that it’s available when you really do need it.”


Posted - Fri 25 Oct 2013

Remember your whistle

Rescuers praise 'public spirited' walkers who helped lost pair from Scafell

Re-produced with thanks from Grough,

John McHale, Reporter

Sunday 06 October 2013 08:50 PM GMT

Rescuers have praised a group who led lost pair of walkers to safety from England’s second-highest mountain.

The walkers heard emergency whistle blasts coming from near Scafell yesterday and contacted mountain rescuers.

A spokesperson for Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team said: “They were said to be six blasts a minute which is the recognised mountain distress signal.

“One group of informants who had phoned the incident in went to investigate a found a group of two who were lost and tired and walked them down to Wasdale, avoiding the need for further action by the team.

“This was particularly public spirited as they actually wanted to be in Langdale and had to arrange for a lift. Thanks for the help.”

The Wasdale team had earlier that day been called out by a man who became separated from his walking companions on Scafell.

A team spokesperson said they used the Sarloc smartphone system to determine his position on Horn Crag on Slight Side, the southern termination of Scafell’s summit ridge.

“Three team members who had just been dropped near Greta Gill on helicopter training made their way over to Slight Side, found the man and then walked him back to Wasdale.”

Ten volunteer team members took part in the rescue.

On Friday the Wasdale team were called out to aid two walkers who lost the path while coming down from Scafell Pike.

The team spokesperson said: “In discussion the team leader was able to determine they were in the broken ground between Lingmell Col and Piers Gill.

“Due to the potential for a stretcher carry a full callout was initiated.

“In the end they were met by team members walking down the Brown Tongue path having regained the path and made their own way off the mountain.”

The incident involved 20 team members.


Posted - Tue 8 Oct 2013

A Busy Time For Coniston Team

A man was airlifted from a Lake District crag after suffering serious injuries in a fall.

The man, from Devon, was climbing Easy Gully on Dow Crag yesterday when he fell.

He suffered head and leg injuries, in the incident. Coniston Mountain Rescue Team, which went to his aid, said he might also have had pelvic injuries.

The team was called out at noon and 16 volunteer members took part in the rescue on the route, graded as Moderate.

He was treated at the scene by Coniston MRT members and paramedics from the North West Air Ambulance.

Rescuers lowered him down the gully on a stretcher and he was then winched aboard a Sea King search and rescue helicopter from RAF Valley on Anglesey which flew him to Royal Preston Hospital for further treatment.

The Coniston team was called out twice today.

In the first incident, an elderly walker was taken ill while walking at Great Carrs near Swirl How. The team was called out about 1.45pm and 12 members stretchered the man, who was unable to continue walking, to the Three Shire Stone on Wrynose Pass.

He was then taken by Land Rover to a waiting air ambulance and flown to Royal Preston Hospital.

While dealing with the incident, police again requested the team’s help to find an elderly couple who got lost walking in Grizedale Forest.

A Coniston MRT spokesperson said: “Team members not already deployed on the first incident were able to locate the couple easily with the help of forest rangers, and they were given a lift back to their car along with their two dogs.”


Posted - Tue 24 Sep 2013

Cumbrian Rescuer joins Coronation Celebration

Arthur and Vivienne LittlefairCumbrian rescuer joins Coronation celebration

A man who has been involved with rescue services in Cumbria for over 40 years is representing mountain rescue at a special service in Westminster Abbey today (4 June) to celebrate 60 years since the coronation of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

Arthur Littlefair has been a member of Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) for over 40 years, 23 of them as Team Leader, and he remembers the original Coronation celebrations in the town: “I was only very young but I’ve checked my memories with family friends in the town. Apparently, I was dressed up as St George in silver-painted cardboard armour for a fancy dress procession through Kirkby Stephen to mark the Coronation,” he says.

“It is a huge honour, 60 years on, to be asked to represent mountain rescue and Cumbria on this very special day,” Arthur continued. “Our Queen is a great example of service and integrity and I really hope that everyone across the UK who is involved in mountain rescue, and particularly those in the Lake District and Cumbria, will feel that my invitation is also a mark of recognition and honour for their work. I also see it very much as a thank you to our partners, families and friends who make it possible.”

Richard Warren, Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA) Chairman was delighted when he heard that a member of a Lakes team had been invited to attend this Royal celebration, representing the mountain rescue service: “Arthur is a highly respected operational team leader amongst the twelve Cumbrian teams,” said Richard, “and it is most fitting that he and his wife will be among the invited guests”.

Arthur Littlefair and his wife, Vivienne, are among just eight Cumbrian representatives at the Coronation celebration service in Westminster Abbey. The Lord-Lieutenant of Cumbria, Mrs Claire Hensman, and her husband, Peter Hensman DL will also be accompanied by Mrs Siobhan Gascoigne and Mrs Lyn Roberts, two long-serving volunteers with the Girl Guides, Mrs Susan Aglionby DL, a former nurse, organic farmer, youth worker and philanthropist and Mrs Olive Clarke JP DL, a retired farmer and life-long volunteer who was recently awarded a Fellowship of Royal Agricultural Society.

Posted - Tue 4 Jun 2013

Coniston MRT celebrate 140 years of Service

Coniston Mountain Rescue Team recently held an evening of celebration for three of their members who between them had given 140 years of service. Anthony Robinson and Malcolm Grindrod joined the Team on the same day in February 1963 and Trevor Walker joined in June 1973 giving 50 years and 40 years’ service respectively.

Anthony Robinson, who recently stepped down as Team Leader had been a Deputy Leader for more than 25 years under Roy Cooksey MBE, and then Team Leader for 6 years. Anthony, 68, grew up in the Sun Hotel which was run by his family. The annexe served as the first Team Base for many years. His first 2 call outs were fatalities. Helicopter aid did not exist in those days, all rescues were carry outs. He says that he owes a lot to his wife Elizabeth for all the support she has given over the years to him, his family and the Team. Robs son Christopher also joined the Team when he was old enough.

Malcolm Grindrod, 73, was a team member for 7 years. He later moved to Langdale Ambleside for 28 years, during that time he was Deputy Team Leader for a number of years. He rejoined Coniston 15 years ago. During his time in Mountain Rescue he has trained and graded 5 search dogs for the Search and Rescue Dog Association, and took on the job of training coordinator for 6 years. In the late 1980's Malcolm and a team of dog handlers spent some harrowing days locating the victims of the Lockerbie air disaster. It had a huge impact on the dog handlers and is still etched in the memories of many who were involved. He played a key role in developing the Avalanche training for the search dogs after trips to Norway and Iceland. He and the late Dave Riley learned and brought back valuable knowledge and skills which developed into the UK training. Malcolm’s daughters are both involved in mountain rescue, Joy as a SARDA dog handler with Coniston Team and Kathy as a member of Langdale and Ambleside.

Trevor Walker, 58, was one of the main Team drivers for his 40 years. As he had worked as a local coalman, Trevor would always know the quickest and best ways to reach places to get to the casualties. His knowledge of the tracks and lanes is second to none and although retired from the Team, he still gives advice on the best way to reach the party by road or track. He was well known for his skills at off road driving, something vital to the Coniston Team who have many miles of rough tracks and lanes in their area. Mr Walker’s mother also worked at the Sun Hotel, which meant he was able to give assistance to the team before he was old enough to join. He pointed out that being a member of Coniston Team was often a family affair with several generations involved in rescue.

Coniston Team would like to pay tribute to their service. The Team owes a huge amount to them all.


Posted - Wed 8 May 2013

Penrith mountain rescuers start search for new £½m base

Penrith MRTPenrith mountain rescue team is looking for public support as it looks to raise more than £½m for a new base.

The Penrith team plans to share a new headquarters with the Cumbria Ore Mines Rescue Unit, which conducts underground operations in the county.

Penrith MRT said planning for a new base is now in full swing.

A spokesperson for the team said it was one of the first in Cumbria to have a purpose-built home but, 23 years on, it has more vehicles, water rescue kit, modern communications systems, and a larger team which means it is running out of space.

It will be the first permanent base for Comru, which currently stores its vehicle at a local lorry park.

The Penrith spokesperson said: “Penrith MRT first formed in1959 and moved to its then purpose-built state of the art headquarters on Tynefield Drive in 1990, but in the ever-changing world of rescue, the team has far outgrown its current home.

“A project has therefore been started to find a suitable piece of land on which to build a modern new mountain rescue base.

“This will give far more capacity for Penrith MRT, as it will have facilities to fit all foreseeable current and future needs and will include proper storage for water-rescue equipment, a drying room, and cleaning and maintenance spaces so that the equipment can be kept ready for deployment at a moment’s notice.

“The relocation project has now completed its early planning stages.

“So far the team and Comru have looked into what they will need and the best possible location.

“They are hoping to remain close to the Kemplay Bank roundabout area, as the junction is key to Penrith MRT and Comru’s hotspots which need rapid access towards Eamont and Lazonby Bridges.

“Access to the M6 is also critical as both teams cover a massive area, the whole of Cumbria for Comru and more than 2,500 sq km area for Penrith MRT.”

Team chairman John Whittle said: “After two years of thinking, talking to others, looking at other bases and planning, we now have the ideal base specification ready for architectural and technical design and this has been shared with the whole team.

“We are also keen to have an adaptable space that will evolve with our needs, and one that may be used by the wider community.

“We are keen to have a building that is resilient in crisis at a location with a capacity that fits well to Cumbria’s resilience planning.

The Penrith team's area includes Cross Fell, the highest point in the Pennines

The Penrith team's area includes Cross Fell, the highest point in the Pennines

“We will also have a building with good green credentials so that it is low impact in construction as well as efficient to run and maintain.”

Before the dream can become a reality team members said they will have to raise a substantial amount of money.

The spokesperson said they have been saving for some time and have already received great support. A business plan has been developed, but it relies on continued support from the community and partners to buy or be given a piece of suitable land on which to build the base.

The cost is estimated at £500,000 plus any land purchase costs.

Members of Penrith MRT have to raise around £25,000 each year to maintain the service that they currently provide.

The team said it is fortunate to receive support from a variety of sources: individuals doing sponsored events, major national companies giving large sums towards replacing vehicles, and legions of private donations made by local people, visitors and often those who are rescued.

Penrith MRT said it would not be able to fundraise through street collections without the support of organisations such as Westmorland Services, Eden District Council, Carlisle City Council, Penrith Lions Club, GO Outdoors, and Booths.

“The Penrith team would like to say a massive ‘thank you’ to the public of Cumbria and beyond for always donating what they can and enabling the team to provide the service that they do,” the spokesperson said.

“The team never know what a call from the police may bring; anything from finding and rescuing a casualty high on the fells, through to evacuating people from houses in flooded areas.

Penrith MRT also covers the fells around Haweswater in the East of the Lake District

Penrith MRT also covers the fells around Haweswater in the East of the Lake District

“In fact, mountain rescue has been involved in almost every large incident in Cumbria over the last few years: train, plane, and bus crashes, flooding, and urban searches.

Peter King deputy leader and member for 16 years said: “I am immensely proud of the work that we do.

“When people see us responding to a call, they expect a volunteer response just as professional as the police, fire or ambulance services would provide.

“To do this as a volunteer group takes a lot of support, which means we not only rely on our family and friends but also upon the tremendous generosity of all who choose to support us. Your donations genuinely save lives.”

More information can be found on the Penrith Mountain Rescue Team website.


Posted - Thu 18 Apr 2013

40 Year Service Awards for Wasdale MRT Members

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team members John and Sue Noake both recently completed their 40 years’ service in the team. The team is one of the busiest in the Lake District and they are pictured outside the team’s headquarters in Gosforth, Cumbria. Aside from being an absolutely magnificent achievement this is believed to be unique within mountain rescue to have a husband and wife both serve the community for this long. It has been a huge commitment on their part and they have seen the team grow almost from its inception in 1968 to the present day. Fellow team members applauded them recently at the annual team dinner and at the presentation of their certificates at one of the monthly evening practices. Warmest congratulations go to them both from the Wasdale team. Within LDSAMRA there are 12 teams with 400 volunteers all providing a 24/365 free service however, a partnership between a husband and wife both on and off the fells is something special requiring tremendous support from family and friends. On behalf of the other Lake District teams, the association adds its congratulations to John and Sue.

Posted - Thu 11 Apr 2013

Heading to the Lakes over Easter?

MickledoreThe Lake District has experienced some interesting weather over the last week or so. The forecast for the Easter weekend looks set for us to continue with cold, frosty weather, with some snow flurries and a considerable wind chill.

The fells are in full winter conditions and look spectacular from down in the valleys. If you are considering heading into the mountains please think about whether you have the right experience, clothing, equipment and food for your trip. Make sure you give yourself enough time and check the weather forecast before planning your day. Ice axes and crampons are essential for the fell tops which are currently at sub zero temperatures.

For more information and advice, have a look at the Ciccerone leaflet that you can download from our homepage.

Posted - Wed 27 Mar 2013

Challenging Weather Keeps Teams Busy

A595Many Lakes Mountain Rescue Teams have been out over this weekend, responding to the challenging weather conditions in West Cumbria in particular. Several LDSAMRA teams have worked together, along with Bay Search and Rescue and Cumbria Police, to help motorists stuck in snowdrifts, to provide help to remote and vulnerable residents, and even to evacuate a group of school children from a remote outdoor centre.

For more information about these incidents, have a look at the teams' website links on the right, or find them and follow them on Facebook.

The picture is of traffic on the main A595 on Friday 22nd March.

Posted - Sat 23 Mar 2013

60 and Proud

Black Sail EnnerdaleSaturday 23rd February 2013 marks the 60th Anniversary of Cockermouth Mountain Rescue Team.

The team was formed in 1953 at a public meeting in a room above Central Café in Cockermouth. The meeting was attended by members of the local Rucksack Club, the Police, farmers , other interested members of the local community.

In the first year of operation there were 6 callouts for the team (in 2012 there were 61).

By December 1953 the new Cockermouth Team had raised about £50, enough to buy 300 feet of rope, six karabiners and two electric lanterns. Members donated the rest of the equipment (in 2013 the annual running costs are £46,000 per year).

Now, in 2013 its 10 years since our current headquarters in Station Street Cockermouth was built, and as part of our 60th celebrations we are opening the building up for a special Open Day at 10am on Saturday 23rd February. We want to show how new equipment and technology has changed the way we operate in 2013 compared to the 1950s and 1960s when the team was called out by a policeman going door to door around the town.


Posted - Tue 19 Feb 2013

Team Members from the Lakes receive MBEs

Mark Hodgson and Julian CarradiceMark Hodgson, Team Leader of the Keswick team has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year's Honours list. In addition to the 40 years’ service to his team, and 19 years as team leader, Mark has made and continues to make significant contributions in the field of mountain rescue to the Lakes region and the national body.

Julian Carradice, a member of the Cumbria Ore Mine Rescue Unit also received an MBE. Julian served as a team member of Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team for over 32 years after joining as a probationary member in 1979. He was team leader for over 10 of those years and left the Wasdale Team early last year, subsequently joining the Cumbrian mines rescue team.

The member teams of the Association wish to pass on their congratulations to Mark and Julian along with their respective teams.

Full details of the their awards can be viewed on the grough website http://www.grough.co.uk

Richard Warren, Chairman, Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association


Posted - Thu 10 Jan 2013

Pennine Way to be Tackled in Aid of Lakes MRTs...

Over the summer James (12) and Josh (16) Martin will be tackling the Pennine Way to raise money for Lake District Mountain Rescue Teams. The boys already seem like veteran hillgoers, and James has aspirations to be a mountain guide and MRT member one day.

For a full look at their story, and ways to donate to their cause, have a look at James' Just Giving page...

http://www.justgiving.com/jamesmartinmountainrescue


Posted - Tue 10 Jul 2012

Rescue 2020 report published

Rescue 2020 ReportRescue 2020: an appraisal of mountain rescue in the Lake District, commissioned 18 months ago from Bob Sharp and Archie Roy, has been published today after a brief period of internal communication within LDSAMRA and its member teams and consultation with key partners.

The review has identified nine areas where conclusions could be made and recommendations produced, ranging from Funding and Insurance to working with Partners. The region’s MRTs will be working on these over the coming months.

  • The summary of Recommendations from Rescue 2020 can be downloaded here.
  • The full press release can be downloaded here.
  • Press enquiries should be directed to Richard Warren, Chairman of LDSAMRA on 07715 700 324.
  • A full copy of the 110 page report is available to purchase for £20 including postage and packing. Cheques payable to Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association should be sent to Sherwood, Portinscale, Keswick, Cumbria, CA12 5RF with an indication of name, organisation or media and full postal address.

Attached news document: Rescue 2020 Recommendations (Adobe PDF, 45Kb)

Posted - Mon 2 Jul 2012

Lake District Mountain Rescue Teams show their support for the ‘Twirlies’ as part of National Awareness Day

Day 1 with Cockermouth MRTThe Lake District Teams will be out and about over the forthcoming Bank Holiday weekends but starting on Monday 2nd May, seven of the twelve teams in the Lake District will be supporting the national body during the Mountain and Cave Rescue Awareness day by helping two female mountain rescuers from Rossendale complete their challenging walk from St. Bees in the west to Robin Hood’s Bay in the east. The two ladies are raising funds to launch the national body’s benevolent fund (MREW). As they make their way across Cumbria and Northern England they will be met by ten mountain rescue teams whose areas they cross. Their target is to raise at least £5,000 to start the benevolent fund and they have already raised over £1,600 to date. For more details about their challenge visit www.justgiving.com/twirliesontour.

The 12 Lake District teams are manned by over 450 unpaid volunteer professionals. They are on call 24 hours a day 365 days a year and have seen a 50 % increase in incidents over the past five years to the current high of 600 incidents in 2010. Teams handle between 50 and 150 callouts each year and are funded purely by voluntary donations.

Posted - Mon 2 May 2011

AW Communication Systems Ltd staff Tackle Cumbrian Run Half Marathon for LDSAMRA

LDSAMRA is pleased to have received a donation from AWCSL and staff, who completed a half marathon. From the AWCSL website...

AWCSL staff manage all 13.1 miles in

October 2010: Over £1030 raised for the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association

AWCSL would like to thank all those who helped us to reach our sponsorship target and for all the support given to us during training and on race day. Every member of staff that signed up to the challenge made it round in under 3 hours, with some enjoying it that much that they foolishly said they might run again next year. There were a few stiff legs and complaints on the Monday after, but everybody made it into work even though just standing up was a struggle for some.

All runners managed to beat the targets they set themselves at the start of the training programme, even though those targets did not seem very high. It is important to remember that the fact everybody made it round is an achievement as more than half the team could not run a mile when we started training. All finishing times can be seen below.

Staff member Time

Adrian 2:27:48

Wendy 2:41:38

Martin 1:44:43

Joanne 2:38:53

George 2:15:51

John 2:15:29

Tom 2:50:27

Carl 2:50:55

Robert 2:23:15


Posted - Thu 23 Dec 2010

Cumbria Community Foundation Donation To Prepare Teams For Future Flood Events

One year on from the Cumbrian Floods, rescue teams have received a donation to help with training for future events.

Following the Cumbrian Floods of November 2009 the 12 mountain rescue teams in the Lake District decided that there was a need to increase their capability for flood response. £42,000 of gear was lost or damaged beyond repair in the floods and this was immediately replaced with grants from Cumbria Police Authority and Allerdale Borough Council. However, a further £140,000 of investment was needed to bring the teams up to a position where sufficient team members were trained in swift water/flood water rescue along with sufficient rescue equipment and improved communication to deal with similar events across the county.

Cumbria Community Foundation responded magnificently to a grant request and agreed to contribute £35,500 towards the overall requirement to cover the training element.

In the photo the cheque is being presented by Susan Aglionby, Chair of the Grants Committee and one of the Cumbria Community Foundation (CCF) Trustees, Cumbria Community Foundation to Richard Warren, Chairman Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA). Also central in the photo is Davis Andrews, Grants Officer CCF. Members of Kirkby Stephen, Patterdale and Penrith MRTs are also present.

Posted - Fri 19 Nov 2010

Wainwright Society Raises £6500 for LDSAMRA Teams

Following the floods that devastated parts of Cumbria last autumn, the Wainwright Society decided to raise funds to assist the Flood Appeal. Specifically, the members felt that they would like to help the Rescue services that had lost equipment during the emergency. Members sent in individual donations as well as a collection after a Stuart Maconie lecture held in Yorkshire, but the main fundraising event was at a lecture by Doug Scott and Sir Chris Bonington held at Rheged, Penrith in February.

The Wainwright Society 'Scott/Bonington Lecture' took place on Monday 1 Feb 2010 at Rheged, nr Penrith before a full house, all 262 tickets having been sold within 2 weeks of the event announcement. Over £4,000 was raised, via ticket sales, for the Rescue services who made such an important contribution during the Cumbria Flood.

Instead of the usual ‘lecture’ format, Doug and Chris were interviewed 'Michael Parkinson' style by Robin Ashcroft, against a continuous full-screen backdrop of pictures from both celebrities. This lent a delightful informality to the evening and the audience were treated to over two hours of reminiscence from the climbers with a lot of their early background and occasional friendly banter. Their exploits, particularly on Everest and The Ogre were retold with considerable personal sentiment.

The evening was organised by The Wainwright Society and the aim of the lecture was to help raise funds and support the voluntary rescue services – the local Mountain Rescue Teams and the Royal National Lifeboat Institute – who were in the thick of things alongside the full time Emergency Services during the terrible flooding in Cumbria. Their specialist skills didn’t just augment those of the Police, Fire Service and the Search and Rescue helicopter crews, but they proved crucial in saving lives. As Eric Robson, Chairman of the Wainwright Society commented, 'Unpaid volunteers they may be, but their response was absolutely professional and their specialist knowledge critical to what was an immense crisis and a major rescue operation'.

The cheque for £6500 was presented to Richard Warren, Chairman of Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA) at the AGM of the Wainwright Society held in March 2010. Before the presentation, Richard gave a short audio-visual lecture to members giving a fascinating insight into the work of the MRT’s and their response during the November floods in Cumbria. He was presented with Honorary Membership of the Society.

Cheque presentation photograph

L - R Lindsay Shaw (Society member) Richard Warren (LDSAMRA) Eric Robson (Chairman The Wainwright Society)

Photographer: Andrew Stainforth


Posted - Thu 5 Aug 2010

PING Raises Money for LDSAMRA

PING presentationThe PING Lakeland Golf Challenge raised £18000 pounds for the 12 Lake District MR teams. The challenge involved members of PING Europe's management team playing a round of golf in Eskdale, then walking 46 miles, over Scafell Pike and Helvellyn, complete with golf bags, before playing another round at Keswick. Phew! For further details look on the Just Giving website in the section about the PING Lakeland Golf Challenge.

The photo shows the cheque being presented to Richard Warren, Chairman of LDSAMRA, with members of Keswick MRT, John Clark, Managing Director of PING Europe.

A big well done and thank you to the PING team -Pete Brown, Steve Carter, Dave Fanning, Phil Craghill, Tim Jenkins, James Turnbull, John Clark and Paul Jenkinson

Posted - Fri 16 Jul 2010

North West Ambulance Service Award for Lakes Teams

Cumbrian Mountain Rescue teams were recently presented with a certificate of Special Commendation for Working in Partnership. This was presented at the North West Ambulance Service Staff Awards Ceremony at the Reebok Stadium, Bolton. The award is in recognition of work which supports the ambulance service, particularly during the recent cold weather. Team Leaders from Bolton (Garry Rhodes), Oldham (Mick Nield) and Rossendale and Pendle (Andy Simpson) MRTs also received certificates. LDSAMRA secretary Simeon Leech can be seen receiving the certificate from Mary Whyham, Chairman of NWAS and the NWAS Chief Executive Darren Hurrel.

Posted - Tue 16 Mar 2010

Cumbria Police Authority Recognises Work of Lakes Teams

CPA cheque presentationCumbria Police Authority has donated £15000 to Lake District Mountain Rescue teams as a specific response to the loss of and damage to equipment during last November's flooding.

The Police Authority Chairman Ray Cole can be seen presenting the cheque to LDSAMRA treasurer, Richard Longman, along with Ian Clemmett and Mike Graham from Penrith MRT.

At the presentation Councillor Ray Cole said: “Every single team in the the Lake District Search & Mountain Rescue Association is a registered charity. They all want to remain a voluntary service and do attract considerable public support with funding, which is just as well when they are increasingly called on for 24/7 specialist support to our Constabulary and the other emergency services. That is why both the Authority and our Chief Constable are so appreciative of what the LDSAMRA membership do for Cumbria; and why our Members were so glad to approve this opportunity to make good some of the equipment lost to their teams during the floods. We know they will be putting it to good use”.

Posted - Wed 24 Feb 2010

Allerdale Council Present Cheque to LDSAMRA

Cheque PresentationTim Heslop, leader of Allerdale Borough Council has presented a cheque for £21000 to Lake District Mountain Rescue Teams. This is in recognition of the cost of rescue work during the floods last November. It will go some way to replacing damaged and lost equipment. Seen receiving the cheque is Steve Brailey of Cockermouth MRT, who had the unenviable task of collecting and collating the cost of damages for several MRTs.

Posted - Wed 24 Feb 2010

Signed Calendars for Lakes Mountain Rescue

The Wainwright Society has a number of calendars left for sale. They are signed by climbing legends Doug Scott and Chris Bonnington. Proceeds from the sale of these will go to RNLI and Lakes Mountain Rescue. Use this web address for more details:http://www.wainwright.org.uk/calendar/index.html

Posted - Tue 16 Feb 2010

Climbers Avalanched in Seathwaite

avalancheAs warmer, wetter weather entered Cumbria, Keswick MRT dealt with a callout on 15th January in which three climbers were avalanched in Hind Crag Gully, Seathwaite.

Here are the full details as reported on their website, which can be accessed through the links on the right...

"3 people were just completing the gully climb in the middle of the crag when the lead climbers triggered a wet slab avalanche which took the 3rd climber back down the gully. The 2 at the top feared the worst because they were unable to see to the bottom. The unfortunate one (M 36 yrs) struggled to stay on the surface and, after a 240m fall, ended up buried up to his middle in wet snow which had instantly 'set like concrete'. Although he had lost a crampon, he had managed to retain his ice axe, which he used to cut himself out. By the time he had done that (about 10-15 minutes) and got himself down to the track below, he was found by Team members who were just arriving on scene. The 2 at the top of the climb remained where they were until we were able to help them back down. A very lucky man with nothing but a few bumps and bruises!"

Posted - Fri 15 Jan 2010

Concert for Cumbria

theatreLesley Garrett and Brian Blessed will be appearing at a concert in Keswick aimed at supporting flood-hit Cumbria, and Mountain Rescue. The following is taken from the Cumbria County Council press release...

"Two of the country's leading names in the arts will be appearing in Cumbria next month in a special benefit concert to help the victims of the Cumbria floods and recognise the effort made by some of the rescue organisations who helped out at the height of the floods.

Singer Lesley Garrett and actor Brian Blessed will be appearing in A Concert for Cumbria, as well as the Cumbria Youth Orchestra and leading pianist Andrew West.

Keswick's Theatre by the Lake have kindly donated their venue and staff time to hold the benefit concert, which will take place at 7.30pm on Wednesday 3rd February. The artists performing in the concert are also donating their services and several businesses are donating goods and services.

The concert, which has been organised by Cumbria County Council, is aiming to build on the already considerable fund raising efforts in the aftermath of the November floods. Money raised through ticket sales and charitable donations will be shared 50/50 between the Cumbria Flood Recovery Fund and the rescue organisations who helped keep people safe when the floods hit. These include RNLI, Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, Bay Search and Rescue, Red Cross, North West Air Ambulance, International Rescue, RSPCA, The Police Dependants Trust, The Fire Fighters Charity and St John's Ambulance.

Cumbria County Council has offered priority booking to a selected list of guests, by special invitation. Tickets will be available exclusively to these guests until Monday 25 January, on which date any unsold tickets will be made available for sale on a first come, first served basis through Theatre by the Lake from 9.30am onwards on the hotline 017687 81100. Tickets will cost £25 (no discounts) plus invitees are being asked to make a Gift Aid donation of £25 when they buy the ticket. This is the best way of ensuring the charities receive the maximum possible donations."


Posted - Thu 14 Jan 2010

Be Prepared...

From Fairfield, Looking EastThe Lake District fells are looking beautiful at the moment.

If you are planning a trip, then do make sure you are well equipped and prepared.

Be aware that some of the roads are still closed due to snow. Check the Cumbria County Council website for details.

Posted - Sat 9 Jan 2010

Busy Time For Lakes Teams

Kirby Stephen MRT Help Stranded MotoristsMountain Rescue Teams from across Cumbria have had a busy Christmas and New Year, due to the severe weather conditions. As well as rescues on the fells, teams have been working with other emergency services. MR teams have assisted ambulance crews with evacuation of casualties in hard to reach areas, and have responded to police calls to help stranded motorists. The picture shows Kirkby Stephen team working with the RAF to evacuate motorists caught in snowdrifts.

Posted - Wed 6 Jan 2010

Charity Walk Aids LDSAMRA

Cheque PresentationThe Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association has benefitted from a charity event organised by officers from the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. A walk up Scafell Pike in October raised £533 which will benefit the 12 teams of Mountain Rescue volunteers in the Lake District.

LDSAMRA Secretary, Simeon Leech is pictured receiving the cheque.

Posted - Thu 24 Dec 2009

Counting the Cost

Cockermouth Main StreetRescue teams involved in November’s flooding events are beginning to calculate the cost in terms of damaged or lost equipment. Swiftwater Rescue Technicians from several teams performed invaluable work when evacuating residents, checking properties and providing support for other emergency services and utilities workers.

Equipment which was damaged or lost during this process is in urgent need of replacement, not only for use during further flooding events, but for use in regular fell or crag based rescues and searches. Several teams need to re-stock radios, dry-suits, buoyancy aids, throw-lines, climbing hardware and other valuable and much-used equipment.

In addition to replacing equipment, many teams are looking to expand their Swiftwater Rescue capabilities, by providing additional training for team members and by purchasing further resources.

If you want to help with this by donating to particular teams, then please follow the links on the right of the page. Any donations made centrally to LDSAMRA will be shared between the 12 teams in Cumbria to help offset their recent flooding costs and to help with general expenses.

To see how this story was covered on the Grough website, follow this link:

http://www.grough.co.uk/magazine/2009/12/01/mountain-teams-face-extra-costs-for-gear-damaged-in-flood-rescues

Posted - Thu 3 Dec 2009

Prince Charles Praises Mountain Rescue

Prince Charles in CockermouthOn his visit to flood-hit parts of Cumbria, Prince Charles praised the work of the emergency services. He gave a particular mention to the work of Mountain Rescue in responding to the floods.

The full story, and video, can be found at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/cumbria/8384033.stm


Posted - Sun 29 Nov 2009

Press Release

Mountain Rescue Teams in Cumbria, who have been part of the multi-agency emergency response since flooding started last Thursday, have now stood down from the heightened state of readiness that they adopted yesterday in case the overnight weather system brought further flooding.

A spokesman for The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association said that team members have now had time to ready their equipment and infrastructure and are now responding to mountain rescues on the fells in the normal way.


Posted - Wed 25 Nov 2009

How Did Teams Contribute To The Rescue Efforts During The Cumbria Floods?

Cockermouth MRTMountain Rescue Teams were deployed from Thursday morning through until Monday evening. At some point over this period every team in the Lakes was out responding to the emergency situation. Many teams were sent to areas outside their own “patch”, where flooding was at its worse. Also teams such as Teesdale

and Weardale MRT and Swaledale MRT, from outside the county, were brought in to assist. In addition to this, members from North Wales and Mid-Pennine teams were on standby in case additional swift-water rescue personnel were needed.

MRT personnel on foot, in 4x4 vehicles and MRT boats rescued individuals from cars and properties and provided support to other agencies by, for example:

• Identifying properties where there were persons at risk and directing RAF winch-men to these locations

• Acting as swift-water teams in locations that were too narrow for boats to enter

• Transferring rescued persons to RNLI boats

• Providing staffing to help Police and using their local knowledge to produce evacuation plans of their home towns

• Evacuating over a thousand properties

• Helping the RSPCA to rescue animals

• Working with the utility companies to maintain services where there was a need for swift-water technician

• Driving Medical and other specialist personnel to locations that were affected by water inundation

Inevitably, this has been at the cost of damage to a lot of equipment e.g. dry -suits, ropes etc and one MRT base was flooded. Don’t forget that the Mountain Rescue Team Members are all unpaid volunteers who provide a professional service.


Posted - Tue 24 Nov 2009

Mountain Rescue Teams Respond To Cumbrian Floods

A595 Duddon Bridge - The Main West Coast RoadMountain Rescue Teams across Lakes have been extremely busy, working with other emergency services, in responding to the floods which have caused devastation throughout Cumbria. Team members have been working intensively over the last few days, despite many of them suffering damage to their own properties. As the clean-up begins and things begin to settle down, reports and pictures from individual teams will be posted over the coming days.

Posted - Mon 23 Nov 2009

Lake District Team hits a Century

Keswick MRTKeswick MRT hit 100 rescues in late August with an additional 20 alerts where the team were called out but ‘wheels did not turn’. How do you stop the trend? Get MRT on BBC Breakfast TV just before the August bank holiday weekend to get the message across to 20 million people via TV and radio live and recorded interviews. Does it work……..not necessarily………….

That weekend and the following week Keswick and Wasdale MRT were both hit with a flood of additional calls, not all searches for those requiring guides, many were genuine accidents.

Similar publicity in January 2008 did not keep the numbers down when Lakes MRTs went on BBC breakfast television and 2008 was a record year with 464 separate incidents.

The picture across the whole of the Lake District prior to the 2009 August Bank Holiday weekend was a general 14% increase in the number of individual team involvement callouts (490); 64% increase in team alerts (74) and 20% increase in the total, 564 compared to 475 at the same time in 2008. This is at three quarters of the way through the year. Keswick MRT has experienced a massive 77% increase in callouts and 66% increase in alerts. However, some teams have seen no change.

This is not just a local problem as North Wales is experiencing a 20% increase over 2008 figures. Is there a solution? We believe that there should be a strong national campaign supported regionally and locally to ensure that the message really does get across to those groups that need to have greater awareness of risks within the mountain environment and greater responsibility in their approach to mountain activities.

Posted - Wed 28 Oct 2009

William joins Lakeland rescuers in Helvellyn ascent

Team photocall for rescuers with their patron

Walkers setting out today to climb England's third highest mountain could have been forgiven for thinking a major incident was underway on the fells.

Mountain rescuers from numerous teams made their way to the Lake District village of Glenridding to make the 6km (4-mile) journey to the top of Helvellyn. More than 40 mountain rescue team members walked to Red Tarn and then on to the summit via Swirral Edge.

But the true purpose of the exercise was to give their patron a taste of mountain rescue life. Prince William, second in line to the British throne, walked to join the assembled rescuers and a gaggle of press photographers at the tarn, in the shadow of Helvellyn’s summit.

In addition to being England and Wales's mountain rescue patron, he is also training to be an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot, so is likely to see action helping Britain’s volunteer mountain rescue teams when he qualifies.

The prince was accompanied on the trip by four teenagers from the Centrepoint charity in the North-East, of which he is also patron. The group also helped Cumbria’s celebrations for the 2012 Olympics by unfurling two flags at the tarn.

The day began in typical Lakeland downpour, but the skies brightened to allow great views for the prince and his young companions as they tackled the route up Swirral Edge.

Members of the Lake District's 12 mountain rescue teams took part, along with a member of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation. They posed for a picture with Prince William both by Red Tarn and on the summit of Helvellyn.

Walkers out for a day on the fells were surprised to see the royal visitor, who chatted and posed for photographs with them.

Prince William praised the mountain rescue volunteers. He said: "These men and women are unsung heroes. They are up and down these mountains rescuing people with broken legs every day.”

The prince said it was a great opportunity to provide the Centrepoint youngsters, from Consett and Sunderland, with a different perspective on life. He said: "A lot of these guys have never done anything like this so it is a real challenge for them and I have really enjoyed meeting them."

Jonny Glendinning, 18, was among the Centrepoint members who walked up Helvellyn with Prince William. The prince joked that his facial piercings might freeze in the inclement conditions. Mr Glendinning, who was made homeless last year, said: “We were chatting about my piercings and he joked they would freeze up in this weather. I think he was a bit surprised when I said they have done before.

"I didn't know he was coming until last night but he was a lot more down-to-earth than I expected, he was canny."

After descending from the mountain, Prince William took a trip on Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team’s speedboat, which it uses to access parts of its area quickly and evacuate casualties. He then boarded a steamer for his return trip down Ullswater, accompanied by children from the WellChild charity, of which his brother Harry is patron.

Richard Warren, chairman of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association accompanied Prince William throughout the day’s activities along with Martin Cotterell, leader of Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team.

Mr Warren said: "The weather at the start of the day was poor with very heavy rain but when Prince William arrived at 10.30 am at Glenridding in the Queen's Helicopter Flight it stopped raining and, apart from one heavy shower at the royal press call at Red Tarn, the weather got better as the day proceeded. Prince William was informal and very happy to talk to everyone he met on the day. The young people from Centrepoint on the mountain and the WellChild families on the Ullswater Steamer had a fantastic day out. Prince William made everyone he met very relaxed through his extremely personable nature."

Around 50 mountain rescue team members were involved on the day including representatives from each of the 12 Lakes MRTs and members from Mountain Rescue England and Wales who were involved in the organisation. Patterdale MRT hosted the event and were pivotal in the organisation of the day which was Prince William's first royal engagement in Cumbria and for safety reasons the best kept secret."

When asked what benefit a royal patron brings to a charity like Mountain Rescue England and Wales, Mr Warren said: "The increased profile he brings to mountain rescue cannot be overstated. The opportunity to get our messages across in the national media is significantly enhanced by his hands-on involvement. This includes the messages of the 24/365 commitment, the purely voluntary nature of the service and the need for the general public to take greater responsibility for their personal safety on the mountains and great outdoors."

One of the Centrepoint youngsters had a real taste of mountain rescue when she had to be stretchered off Helvellyn Lower Man when an old hip injury proved too painful to enable her to carry on. Patterdale MRT members lowered her to safety, helped by other Lake District teams.

Embarrassingly for a member of the Penrith team, he needed his colleagues' help after he fell while attending to the woman who needed stretchering off Helvellyn. He injured his ankle in the incident. The rescuer was given first aid and then he too was taken off the fell by stretcher, and then on to hospital by ambulance.

Bob Smith www.grough.co.uk

Posted - Sun 26 Jul 2009

Wasdale MRT 40th Anniversary

Wasdale MRT 40th presentation52 team members, wives, husbands, partners and special guests attended the private dinner at the Wasdale Head Inn on the 9th January 2009. The dinner is a regular annual event but this year it was combined as a celebration of the team's 40th year. David Allan, Chairman of Mountain Rescue (England and Wales) was invited, along with his wife Sheila, to present long service awards to team members past and present. In addition to the framed award, each person was presented with a glass tankard on a wooden base with plaque showing his or her name and years of service.

Attached news document: News from the Lakes Region – March 2009 (Adobe PDF, 198833Kb)

Posted - Tue 12 May 2009

Winter advice

Winter callout Feb 2009Lake District mountain rescue teams have had a very busy start to the year with an unprecedented number of incidents related to the weather conditions. Langdale/Ambleside and Keswick mountain rescue teams have both been called repeatedly to similar incidents.

We don’t want to spoil people’s enjoyment of going out in the mountains in winter. Some of the best mountain views can be seen in the mountains at this time of year. However, there are some basic precautions that walkers and mountaineers can take in terms of the weather, and your equipment and experience:

Weather – Check, for the full day. There are some excellent websites now with up to date weather reports, and reports for climbers on current snow and ice conditions.

Equipment – Go prepared for the worst conditions you’re likely to find. Although the valleys might be mainly snow and ice free, the tops of the fells might be plastered with hard snow or ice.

An ice axe and crampons are essential, as well as knowing how to use them. Don’t wait until you’re half way up a steepening snow slope before deciding to take the axe off your rucksack.

Make sure you have a map and compass, and you know how to use it. Although the tops may be cloud free in the morning, they can soon cloud over and then navigation skills will be crucial.

Take a torch with spare batteries, it still gets dark relatively early. It’s amazing how many calls we still get from walkers that are benighted somewhere on the mountains because they don’t have a torch. The latest headtorches are small and powerful, there’s really no excuse for not having one out in winter.

A mobile phone, used correctly can and has saved lives. If something does go wrong, dial 999 and ask for Cumbria police and mountain rescue. Give them all the details of the incident and who’s involved. Then stay where you are, where there is a signal on your phone, and wait for the rescue team to arrive.

Don't forget extra warm clothing; a bivi shelter is also strongly recommended for winter conditions.

Experience – Do something that’s within your capabilities and experience. If you’re going onto steep icy ground then get some experience of using ice axes and crampons on easier ground first.

Remember that soft snow is exhausting to go through. Don’t try a longer 12 mile walk out over the tops in winter if you’re only used to doing summer walks around a lake shore. It’s all common sense really.

Posted - Mon 9 Feb 2009

New website goes live

LDSAMRA websiteThe new LDSAMRA website has gone live. The website will provide information and advice to walkers and mountaineers in the Lake District, and links to mountain rescue teams. There is a mountain safety video, pages of accident statistics, and details on how you can make a donation to mountain rescue.

Posted - Mon 19 Jan 2009

Water, water everywhere!

OMM weatherThe Lake District fells made national headlines again over the weekend of the 25th and 26th October, the weekend of the Original Mountain Marathon (OMM). Run over the weekend when there was forecasted extreme weather following on from a week of just plain awful weather, opinion was divided as to whether the event should have started on the Saturday morning or been cancelled.

Attached news document: News from the Lakes Region – December 2007 (Adobe PDF, 57878Kb)

Posted - Thu 15 Jan 2009

Two new vehicles for Cockermouth

New npower vehicleFollowing a successful fundraising appeal and donation from npower renewables Cockermouth MRT have taken delivery of two new front line rescue vehicles. The fundraising appeal was launched in April 2007 to raise the £28,000 required to purchase and equip one vehicle. As part of the appeal, a raffle was held between April and September which raised over £6,000. A local Sainsbury’s provided the opportunity to sell tickets outside their store and raise funds by packing bags on Christmas Eve – one notable raffle ticket customer being John Prescott. The first new vehicle replaced an ageing seventeen year old Land Rover, and was purchased in early 2008. Named Jacks’s Pride in memory of Jack Jackson, ex-president and founder member of the Cockermouth team, it was unveiled at a special ceremony by Jack’s wife Dorothy.

Posted - Tue 23 Sep 2008

75th Anniversary Celebrations in the Lake District

It's a knockoutWho did win the It’s a Knockout?

Attached news document: News from the Lakes Region – September 2007 (Adobe PDF, 25700Kb)

Posted - Tue 9 Sep 2008

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