Hill walkers urged to be adventure smart when planning a trip into the Northumberland countryside

Walkers and climbers have been urged to plan ahead before heading into the Northumberland countryside.

Friday, 11th September 2020, 5:23 pm

Northumberland National Park and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Teams along with Northumbria Police, Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service, Northumberland National Park Authority and Forestry England are asking hill-goers and climbers to be adventure smart.

Chief Superintendent Janice Hutton said: “Over recent weeks, Northumbria Police has received a number of calls into their control room requesting the help of mountain rescue and the two volunteer mountain rescue teams have been more than willing to respond.

"A number of these callouts could, however, have been avoided by members of the public planning ahead before they enjoy time in the hills, moors and forests of Northumberland.”

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Mountain rescue teams in Northumberland have had several recent call-outs.

Tony Gates, chief executive of Northumberland National Park Authority, added: “Staycation holidays are introducing a new and very welcome type of visitor to the National Park, who are keen to enjoy the stunning scenery and solitude of our hills, moors and forests. Whether you are new or even a regular visitor to the outdoors it is important you know how to stay safe.”

Mark Silmon and Iain Nixon, leaders of the two Mountain Rescue Teams, said: “We would like people to head out and enjoy Northumberland’s countryside but to do it safely and responsibly.”

They say people should always know what the weather will be like, if they have the right gear and do they have the skills and knowledge required. Take a map and compass as a back-up to a mobile phone or GPS based device and always carry a torch and whistle.

A warning not to start any campfires has also been issued by Paul Hedley, chief fire officer for Northumberland Fire & Rescue Service.

Hill goers and climbers are being urged to be adventure smart before heading into the countryside.

He said: “Vegetation can ignite easily and if not dealt with quickly can spread rapidly and cause wildfires which devastate the countryside and present a very significant risk to life.”

If members of the public do get into trouble in the hills, moors and forests of Northumberland and they are not by a road, whether they are lost or injured, please dial 999 ask for the police and request Mountain Rescue. An exact location such as a grid reference from an app like OS Locate or a what3words location will help.

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