Rescuers expect a rise in the number of callouts. Photo: NNPMRT

Rescuers expect a rise in the number of callouts. Photo: NNPMRT

Rescuers in Northumberland are pleading with the public to prepare properly when they head to the outdoors.

Volunteers from Northumberland National Park and North of Tyne Mountain Rescue Teams are anticipating a rise in callouts with the end of the ‘stay at home’ rule in England.

The government is relaxing lockdown on Monday, with up to six people or two households able to meet outdoors.

The two teams said they experienced a surge in incidents when the last lockdown ended and are expecting something similar as people have been in lockdown over the winter.

Iain Nixon, team leader for Northumberland National Park MRT, said: “We’re asking the public to be prepared and be adventure smart when they head out into the hills this Easter.

“We know that an increase in visitors to Northumberland national park will also mean an increase in callouts for our teams.”

Keith Briggs, team leader of the North of Tyne team, said: “We’re asking people to follow the #beadventure smart advice and consider three key elements before taking part in any outdoor activities: check the weather; have the right equipment; and have the right skills for your level of activity.”

Over the past 12 months, volunteers from both mountain rescue teams have worked closely with agencies such as Northumbria Police, Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service, North East Ambulance Service, Northumberland National Park Authority and Forestry England to help keep the public safe.

The teams responded to 150 incidents in 2020, their busiest year so far. “Although lockdown is easing, the risks of Covid are still with us and it takes time for our members to don PPE and deploy into the hills,” Mr Nixon said. “If the public adopts a cautious approach, it will help keep everyone safe.”

Information on keeping safer in the outdoors is available on the Adventure Smart website.

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