The Prestwick Coastguard helicopter airlifted the walkers and rescuers from the hill. Photo: NNPMRT

The Prestwick Coastguard helicopter airlifted the walkers and rescuers from the hill. Photo: NNPMRT

Two groups of walkers were rescued after getting into difficulties in bad weather in the north Pennines at the weekend.

Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Team were first called out to aid a family of three, including a young child, north of Hadrian’s Wall.

The group called for help at tea time on Saturday in worsening conditions near the Haughtongreen bothy.

A Northumberland NP team spokesperson said: “As the temperatures dropped and heavy rain increased, both teams immediately deployed.

“As team members arrived at Housesteads Fort and began to deploy, one of the team vehicles located the missing walkers at the edge of Wark Forest. They were all very cold and wet, but very relieved to see the team members.”

The two teams were called out again for three walkers in the Cheviot Hills.

The trio planned to ascend The Cheviot on the England-Scotland border, but one of the group was unable to continue.

The spokesperson said: “Again, the group did the correct thing, dialled 999 and spoke to Northumbria Police and requested mountain rescue.

“A hasty team was quickly deployed to the area using a team vehicle while the remaining team members were put on stand-by. Due to the drop in temperatures and the group’s condition, the HM Coastguard rescue helicopter from Prestwick was requested.

“The hasty team reached the walkers who, after an initial assessment and rewarming in a group shelter, began to lead the walkers off the hill.

“It would have been an extremely long and slow descent but the Coastguard helicopter managed to land at the head of the Harthope Valley, just below the cloudbase.”

The walkers and team members were then airlifted down the valley to the control point where they were assessed by the North East Ambulance Service before being allowed to head home.

Team leader for Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team Iain Nixon said: “In both cases, the groups did the right thing and dialled 999 before things got too dangerous.

“This meant that we were able to deploy and rescue them before anyone was seriously injured. We would like to thank Northumbria Police, the North East Ambulance Service and HM Coastguard at Prestwick for their support and assistance in these incidents.”

The two incidents lasted a total of more than eight hours and involved 34 rescue team members.

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