Planning ahead not only keeps people safe but should also help to reduce the number of call outs for volunteer rescue teams

Planning ahead not only keeps people safe but should also help to reduce the number of call outs for volunteer rescue teams

Rescue organisations in England and Wales have released their latest version of a leaflet aimed at increasing safety for outdoor enthusiasts.

The new leaflet emphasises the need to plan and prepare for trips into the mountains, in line with the #BeAdventureSmart campaign.

Since the first edition in 2017, more than 50,000 of the simple leaflets have been handed out across England and Wales and the latest edition focuses on making a good day better by planning adventures before you set out.

The leaflet has been produced by Mountain Rescue England and Wales, the umbrella organisation for teams south of the border.

MREW’s vice-chair and operations lead Mike Margeson said: “The idea for a leaflet was initially developed in Cumbria by the regional organisation there, the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association.

“When that proved really useful, MREW created a national version and this has gone through a number of versions, each one building on latest experience and changes in the outdoor world.”

In 2018, the 48 teams represented by MREW were involved in 2,538 callouts, resulting in 2,214 deployments with more than 1,936 people assisted. There were only four days in the whole of the year without a mountain rescue callout.

Nick Owen, who led the #BeAdventureSmart campaign for LDSAMRA, said: “It’s all about encouraging people to enjoy the mountains by planning and being prepared, and making a good day better.

The cover of the new leaflet

The cover of the new leaflet

“The focus of the advice is three simple questions about the right gear, an awareness of the weather forecast and having the knowledge and skills for the day ahead. If we can just get people to think about these things before they set off, people can keep themselves safe and we can reduce the number of avoidable call outs that are putting our voluntary service under growing pressure.”

Printing of both the national and Lake District versions has always been sponsored by outdoor publishers, Cicerone. Lesley Williams, co-owner of Cicerone, said: “Supporting charities directly associated with mountain activities is a vital part of our role as responsible guidebook publishers and we are delighted to continue to sponsor this mountain safety information leaflet.

“We know that a lot of those heading off into the hills use our guidebooks and we have published information books on skills such as navigation too. Printing and publishing is our area of expertise and it’s good to use that and play a positive role in supporting mountain rescue.”

Anyone with information on how to increase the distribution of the new leaflet can contact the organisation via the MREW website or via social media.

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