The 'wild animals' turned out to be herdwick sheep

The 'wild animals' turned out to be herdwick sheep. Photo: Photo: Walter Baxter CC-BY-SA-2.0

Two walkers were rescued after getting lost in the dark when they were chased by a pair of sheep.

The men were found about 200m from where they had set off, after reporting they had been pursued by wild animals.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team was called out about 10.30pm on Saturday after the pair rang for help. They had set off for a short walk from the Helvellyn Youth Hostel at Greenside near Glenridding but got lost when night fell.

The pair said they became scared after some ‘wild animals’ chased them.

A team spokesperson said its members quickly found the men and helped them back to the track and then to their youth hostel. They were unhurt, the spokesperson added.

Team leader Mike Blakey said: “It was a bit of bit of a baaaarmy night so the two men weren’t in any danger of suffering from hypothermia, although they were clearly shaken and very grateful for the team’s assistance.

“While driving up the track from Glenridding to the youth hostel about 11pm, we spotted a light from a mobile phone about 30m below us. It didn’t take long for two team members to descend down and help the men back to the Land Rover.

The men were brought to the safety of their youth hostel at Greenside

The men were brought to the safety of their youth hostel at Greenside

“We were obviously quite concerned when the fellas said they had been chased by wild animals, especially given all the recent reports of wild cats in Cumbria.

“Once we arrived it quickly became apparent that men had been chased by a couple of herdwicks. Clearly this isn’t a common occurrence in the Lakes, and in fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of this happening before. But there’s a first for everything.

“The two men, from Bracknell in the South of England, probably didn’t realise that there weren’t street lights everywhere. It’s wise, even if only walking a few hundred metres, to take a torch in the dark.”

The rescue involved three team members for about an hour.

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