Errwood Reservoir, scene of the search. Photo: Jonathan Wakefield CC-BY-SA-2.0

Errwood Reservoir, scene of the search. Photo: Jonathan Wakefield CC-BY-SA-2.0

A huge search involving more than 80 volunteers from three mountain rescue teams failed to find a man missing in the Peak District.

Police said they are concerned for the safety of Kevin Bird of Poynton, Cheshire, whose car was found near Errwood Reservoir in the Goyt Valley.

His disappearance is said to be out of character.

The 51-year-old was last seen at his home at 10.15am on Saturday. Police have asked walkers and outdoor enthusiasts to be on the lookout for Mr Bird.

A police helicopter searched the area around Errwood and Fernilee reservoirs and officers from both Cheshire and Derbyshire Constabularies started a search in the area around Errwood Hall car park.

Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, which was fundraising in Castleton at the time, was called out at 1pm and provided 30 volunteers and four search dogs to comb nearby footpaths.

A Buxton MRT spokesperson said: “Specially trained team members were able to search the water’s edge and the rescue boat from Errwood Sailing Club was of great assistance.”

A specialist police water search team also took part in the operation, which continued into the late evening darkness in freezing conditions and low cloud.

The following day the search resumed at dawn and involved 80 volunteers from Buxton, Kinder and Derby Mountain Rescue Teams.

Seven mountain search and rescue dogs also joined the hunt, some travelling from the North-East of England.

Kevin Bird

Kevin Bird

Police specialists on land and water searching were also called in. Heavy rain and the steep terrain of the Goyt Valley hampered the search with all the tributaries to the reservoirs being in flood conditions.

The spokesperson said: “Regrettably, by darkness, no trace of Mr Bird had been found and the rescue teams stood down after a total of over 1,000 man-hours of searching.”

Roger Bennett, Chairman of Buxton Mountain Rescue Team, said, “We have put a great deal of effort into trying to solve this mystery and we feel sincerely sorry for the family that we have not been able to locate Mr Bird.”

Cheshire police said Mr Bird is described as white, 6ft 1in (185cm) tall, of slim build with receding grey hair. He is wearing green cargo pants and a white t-shirt.

Inspector Penny Jones said: “This behaviour is out of character for Kevin and we are becoming increasingly concerned for his safety.

“It is believed that Kevin could be in the Macclesfield forest area and we would urge anyone who may have seen him or knows of his whereabouts to contact us immediately.

“This is an isolated area and we would appeal to anyone, particularly dog walkers or joggers, who may be out and about in that area to keep an eye out for Kevin.

“We would also ask anyone who may have seen his car earlier in the day to come forward.”

Mr Bird’s car is a silver Mercedes 4×4.

Anyone with any information is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101 quoting incident number 429 of 8 December or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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