Finnich Glen and the Devil's Pulpit. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Finnich Glen and the Devil's Pulpit. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

A rescue team is pleading with the public to take care when visiting a spectacular gorge in Stirlingshire that has seen a rise in numbers making their way to the site recently.

Lomond Mountain Rescue Team has been called out four times to Finnich Glen, which has featured on television and in articles online and in print.

The glen, and the Devil’s Pulpit within it, lie 2.5km (1½ miles) east of Killearn and about a mile from the West Highland Way.

A spokesperson for the rescue team said: “A visit to the Glen can be a memorable experience but we would like to bring to the public’s attention several safety concerns and potential hazards.

“Exceptionally well hidden, the edges of the gorge are vertical, occasionally overhanging, dropping nearly 70ft into the river. At the narrowest point you can touch both its walls.

“Travelling the full length of the gorge is committing, it can require swimming and canyoning ability, with the appropriate equipment, to negotiate the river safely. There are very few points where it is safe, or indeed possible, to climb out.

“Despite it officially being the summer, the water is cool and its level rapidly rises after heavy rain. Consequently hypothermia is a real concern if you are not suitably clothed.

“There are several deep pools along the route. During high water there are a number of submerged potential trap hazards.”

The steep steps leading to Finnich Glen. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The steep steps leading to Finnich Glen. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The rescue team added that there is no mobile phone signal in the glen. “Calling for help is impossible, unless there is someone above able to assist,” the spokesperson said.

“Lomond MRT was called to the fourth emergency here only a couple of weeks ago. Each has involved quickly extracting cold, wet and trapped visitors by raising them vertically up the mossy, wet walls by rope.

“We would ask that you take this information into consideration before your visit. Please take care and be mindful of the dangers highlighted above.”

Normal access to the glen is by a steep set of steps, which can be slippery during wet periods.

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