EMERGENCY services took part in an eight-hour rescue operation in wintry weather on Sunday after a glider crashed in The Cheviots. 

Northumberland National Park Rescue Team and the North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were called to the remote area after the glider crashed into the south-east side of The Cheviot at 2.20pm. 

The teams were called out within 40 minutes to locate the crash site, after receiving a call from Northumbria Police.

The Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) sent a helicopter, but it was unable to land near the site because of snow storms and low cloud.

A Coastguard search and rescue helicopter was then sent from Prestwick and airlifted a GNAAS medical team and Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service personnel with lightweight cutting equipment to nearby Scald Hill. 

From there they had to make progress on foot to the crash site. 

By this time the mountain rescue teams had located the crashed glider and the pilot was lowered and carried 400m on a stretcher down the side of The Cheviot below the cloud level until the Coastguard helicopter was able to land.

From there, he was transferred by helicopter to hospital.

A spokesman from Northumberland National Park Rescue Team said: "The teams would like to pay particular thanks to the two walkers who went to the aid of the pilot and remained with him until mountain rescue personnel arrived on scene. 

"They did an exceptional job of keeping the pilot calm and provided him with additional clothing. We would also like to thank the gamekeeper who transported two team members up onto the hill on his quad bike."

A total of 29 members took part in the rescue operation which was stood down at 10.30pm.