The walkers had set off for a trip up The Cheviot. Photo: Hill Walker CC-BY-SA-2.0

The walkers had set off for a trip up The Cheviot. Photo: Hill Walker CC-BY-SA-2.0

A large group of partially sighted walkers sparked a search after failing to return when expected from a walk in the Cheviots.

Northumberland National Park and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Teams were alerted when the 19 walkers were reported more than four hours overdue.

A police helicopter joined the search for the party, which had set out to climb the Cheviot and return to the valley over Cairn Hill and Scotsman Knowe on Wednesday.

Rescuers were alerted about 8.25pm and made their way to the Harthope Valley near Wooler, where the group, including sighted guides, were thought to be.

A spokesperson for the Northumberland team said: “Given the wintry conditions on the hills, members from our team and North of Tyne MRT were activated immediately.

“An advanced party, including two of our incident controllers, was on scene very quickly while the team Land Rovers and other members travelled to Langleeford Farm.”

Northumbria Police said “The walkers are all experienced and had suitable equipment for the conditions; however, there was concern due to lowering temperatures and failing light as the night was drawing in.

“By 8.38pm, three of the walkers made their way to a farmhouse in Wooler and police were contacted. By 9.27pm the remaining walkers were all confirmed as accounted for having been located by the police helicopter near Langleeford.”

The mountain rescue team spokesperson said: “Other than being very tired from their long day, all the walkers were well.

“A good outcome for all concerned. We hope they enjoyed their well deserved meal in the Red Lion.”

Chief Inspector Dave Gould of Northumbria Police said: “Officers assisted in the search for this group with our partners and we were pleased that the incident ended positively with everyone safely accounted for.

“It is always advisable for walkers to leave route details which can assist the co-ordination of any subsequent searches.”

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