Supporting Mountain Rescue
The Lake District is one of the most beautiful and popular tourist destinations in the UK. With its picturesque landscapes, shimmering lakes, and rugged mountain ranges, it attracts millions of visitors each year. However, while it may seem like a paradise for adventure enthusiasts, it can also be a treacherous place, especially for those who venture into the mountains unprepared. This is where the vital work of the volunteer mountain rescue teams come into play.
The history of mountain rescue in the Lake District dates back to the early 1900s when the first rescue teams were formed to assist walkers and climbers in distress. These were typically made up of local shepherds who knew the area well and were skilled at navigating the terrain.
The (then titled) Coniston Fell Rescue Team from the Picture Post 1947 / mountain.rescue.org.uk
In 1903, a tragic accident high on Scafell Pinnacle saw four climbers who were tied together, fall to their deaths as their leader slipped. The ‘Scafell Disaster’ was a pivotal moment in mountain rescue history as a shocked climbing community began to consider the increasing number of accidents and the lack of rescue resources available. Within a year, first aid equipment began to appear in key mountainous areas to help with rescue attempts.
It wasn't until after World War II that the mountain rescue teams became more organized and began to resemble the teams we see today with charitable donations beginning to help support the rescue efforts. The 1950’s saw the formation of the Lake District’s first civilian mountain rescue teams following catastrophic accidents in Coniston and Keswick. Similar incidents were occurring in the mountains across the UK and, over the years, a variety of accidents in mountainous and moorland areas motivated the locals into action. Initially, there was little direct communication between organisations, and yet new teams continued to spring up with similar values and aspirations, each subtly adapted to their own environment.
Keswick rescuers, the early days © Keswick MRT Archive | Ogwen team practice on Vector Buttress, Tremadoc in 1967 / mountain.rescue.org.uk
Today, the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA) oversees the coordination of 12 mountain rescue teams made up of over 400 volunteers who provide a vital service to those who venture out into the mountains. These teams consist of highly trained and skilled individuals who are ready to respond to emergency calls 24/7, 365 days a year. They provide assistance to anyone who finds themselves in trouble on the mountains. The importance of these volunteers cannot be overstated. Without them, countless lives would have been lost over the years. They provide a vital service to the community, and their dedication and selflessness are truly inspiring.
Despite the incredible work they do, the volunteer mountain rescue teams rely heavily on donations and fundraising to keep them going, as they receive no government funding. The cost of maintaining the equipment, training, and running the rescue vehicles is significant, and without the support of the public and fundraisers, they would struggle to continue to provide this vital service.
Coniston Mountain Rescue Team
Herdy has partnered with Lake District Mountain Rescue to create a special fundraiser ‘Mountain Rescue’ Ewe Tube. The design features Mountain Rescue Herdy keeping the Lake District safe for all who enjoy a day out on the fells. This versatile Ewe Tube can be worn in a multitude of ways and is made from soft, comfy cotton.
Not only is the Ewe Tube a practical accessory for anyone venturing out into the mountains, but it's also a fun way to show support for the amazing volunteers who make it possible for us to enjoy the outdoors safely. Every purchase will make a difference as £1.50 from the sale of every Ewe Tube will be donated to Lake District Mountain Rescue. By choosing to support the mountain rescue teams in this way, you are showing your appreciation for the work that they do and are helping to ensure that they can continue providing their vital service for years to come.
AdventureSmart is a new campaign developed with Mountain Rescue to provide all the essential information needed for people to get outdoors and have a great day out.
Ask yourself 3 simple questions before you set off:
- Am I confident I have the KNOWLEDGE & SKILLS for the day?
- Do I know what the WEATHER will be like?
- Do I have the right GEAR?
If you scored 3/3 on these questions, congrat-ewe-lations, off you go and have a fantastic day out! If you didn't, visit AdventureSmart to find the answers you need to be kitted up and the knowledge to keep you safe.
By being AdventureSmart you are supporting our Mountain Rescue teams, by working together we can reduce the number of avoidable incidents that the rescue and emergency services deal with each year.
Mountain Rescue Ewe Tube