Rescuers wearing protective equipment during a callout during lockdown. Photo: CVSRT

Rescuers wearing protective equipment during a callout during lockdown. Photo: CVSRT

A rescue team which has bucked the trend and seen an increase in callouts is appealing to the public to stay within their capabilities when exercising.

Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team made the plea ahead of the government’s lockdown easing to allow ‘support bubbles’ in England, beginning on Saturday.

The West Yorkshire team said the increase in callouts is putting a strain on its finances at a time when normal fundraising activities have not been possible.

Team leader Jonathan Cole said: “We are truly blessed with some stunning scenery around the Calder Valley, with excellent locations and routes to explore and it is great to see people out walking, running, cycling, climbing and enjoying the landscape.

“However, the team has seen a significant increase in callout requests from emergency services to assist with 45 incidents so far this year. This we believe makes CVSRT one of the busiest mountain rescue teams in England and Wales.”

The number of callouts represents a 40 per cent increase for the same period last year. Calder Valley SRT has had 26 callouts since lockdown began in March.

Mr Cole said: “As the lockdown is relaxed further, more and more people will be venturing into the countryside; therefore we urge everyone to stay safe and #adventuresmart.”

The team, a registered charity, has seen its fundraising hit hard, with school and community visits and other events cancelled, leading to an 80 per cent drop in donations.

The team said: “Granted the team isn’t unique or alone in this downturn, but it doesn’t stop us from being cautious with an eye on future plans and developments for the team.

“CVSRT was established in 1966 and costs £45,000 per year to remain operational. The team is 100 per cent voluntary and relies solely on donations from the community and local businesses to keep a roof over our heads and team vehicles rolling.

“We are ready to respond 24/7, 365 days per year, no matter what the weather or circumstance.”

Anyone wanting to donate can do so online.

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