MOUNTAIN rescue teams urged walkers to be careful when exploring Northumberland after rescuing people unprepared for the conditions.

The Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team (NNPMRT) and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team (NOTMRT) have seen a rise in avoidable incidents with walkers falling into difficulty in rural Northumberland. 

Volunteers found walkers ill-prepared with the wrong clothing and equipment for the landscape's conditions.

Both agencies support the national AdventureSmart campaign, which arms those exploring remote areas with knowledge, skills, and weather-knowhow to stay safe.

As warmer weather creeps in, the teams warn these people are also risking volunteers who could be called upon to come to their aid if they get into difficulty.

Team leader of Northumberland National Park MRT, Iain Nixon, said: “We would like everyone heading into the outdoors to enjoy themselves and ensure their own safety by thinking about the potential consequences of their actions.

“We put hours of training in and are fully equipped to deal with the challenging conditions which can sometimes be experienced in those areas – so it’s almost unthinkable that people would purposefully go out into these areas ill-equipped, dressed in the wrong clothes, or with little idea of the weather forecast.

“We would ask – please don’t put yourself and others at risk. Before you go out, please ask yourself, am I confident I have the skills and knowledge for the day, do I know what the weather will be like, and do I have the right equipment?”

Northumbria Police chief inspector Colin Lowther works closely with the Mountain Rescue Teams.

He said: “Our valuable Mountain Rescue Teams are made up entirely of volunteers – many with demanding day jobs – who are called upon at all hours and in all conditions to help those in need.

“It is extremely disappointing and concerning to hear that there are people who are putting themselves and these teams at unnecessary risk, taking resources away from those who may be in real danger.

“Please make sure to plan your trip fully, and research every aspect of what it will require – such as specific weather conditions, time of year, the terrain and whether you’ve been there before.

“At a time when emergency services are already under pressure, we all have a role to play in making sure these resources are not diverted to situations which could so easily be avoided.”

If you get lost or injured in the hills, moors, and forests or on a climbing crag in Northumberland and require Mountain Rescue, dial 999 ask for Northumbria Police and request Mountain Rescue.

Go to AdventureSmartUK for more information on the AdventureSmart campaign.