The Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, the umbrella body representing 12 Cumbrian teams, has brought out a new free leaflet with safety advice aimed at reducing the number of casualties on the fells.
Call-outs are on the rise across the Lakes, with 474 incidents in 2014 - up nearly 10% on 2013's figures. There have already been several fatalities in 2015.
Produced in association with local guidebook publisher Cicerone Press, the ’How to Stay Safe and Enjoy the Fells’ leaflet includes all the key basics, from pre-trip planning and what to carry, to step-by-step advice to follow in the event of an accident.
'We want to encourage people to enjoy the fells' said Richard Warren, LDSAMRA Chairman, 'but to do it safely, understanding the risks and taking the right precautions.'
'The leaflet is intended to help people make the right choices before going into the hills.'
'It also provides information on what to do in the event of an accident. It will be available in numerous outlets throughout Cumbria and the Lake District and would be a very helpful addition to anyone’s rucksack when they head into the fells.'
40,000 copies are being distributed across Cumbria's most popular tourist spots.
We caught up with Cicerone's Lesley Williams to find out more about their involvement in the project:
'Supporting charities directly associated with mountain activities is a vital part of our role as responsible guidebook publishers and we are delighted to sponsor this information leaflet' she said.
'Back in 2010 we looked at ways in which we could be more proactive in providing advice, and supporting mountain rescue in a regular and practical way. We spent a lot of time putting our ideas together with Richard Warren, and other members of the Lake District mountain rescue teams, and in 2011 launched our first mountain safety leaflet, which was widely distributed in the area, and embraced by both Cumbria Tourism and the National Park authority.'
'We went on to provide a similar one for Scotland, and a third one for other teams throughout the country, although the latter never really took off as an idea.'
'Last autumn I suggested that we updated the leaflet, and so we have this new one, launched in time for the main season, which was kindly designed by Judy Whiteside and myself, and sponsored entirely by Cicerone.'
'We really want to get it into all the B&B's, hotels, pubs etc, as well as where there are Mountain Safety collection boxes throughout the region. There has certainly been a recent increase in incidents and call outs, which is something that can often be avoided with better education and preparation.'
In future LDSAMRA hopes to bring out more free safety information in collaboration with Cicerone.
- You can view a pdf of the leaflet on Cumbria Crack