A headtorch is an essentail piece of kit for anyone heading for the hills. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A headtorch is an essentail piece of kit for anyone heading for the hills. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Rescuers have issued a timely reminder to walkers heading for the hills to pack a torch, as the end of British summer time approaches.

Night will fall earlier after the clocks go back on Sunday, meaning outdoor enthusiasts risk getting benighted if they don’t plan their trips into the mountains.

Richard Warren of Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team, which covers England’s highest mountain, said his team has been called out eight times this month, with six of its rescues to lost walkers with little or no navigational skill or knowledge.

Scafell Pike is a draw for many walkers, some of whom have little hillwalking experience.

Mr Warren, who is also chair of the umbrella body for Cumbria’s 12 volunteer rescue teams, said: “This is particularly worrying as a number of these walkers were still on the summit of the mountain late afternoon with light fading.

Good navigation skills can be called for on Scafell Pike's summit. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Good navigation skills can be called for on Scafell Pike's summit. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

“This weekend the clocks go back an hour and this, combined with a lack of navigational skill or map and compass, spells danger.

“At this time of year, the most important piece of kit that seems missing from many rucksacks is a torch. Even with a map and compass and years of experience, when it get dark it is virtually impossible to safely descend a mountain without a torch.

“The message is therefore very clear for Sunday. Be prepared and be off the fell before it gets dark.”

British Summer Time ends at 2am on Sunday 30 October, when watches and clocks should be put back an hour. Sunset time on Sunday in the Lake District will be about 4.40pm. By next weekend it will be about 10 minutes earlier and by mid-December the sun will be setting about 3.45pm in the area.

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