The Lake District with its lakes, meres, waters, valleys and mountains is a magnet for tourists and locals who want to explore and

take advantage of the great outdoors.

This article on mountain rescue introduces the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (LDSAMRA), the 12 teams’ representative body. Subsequent articles will cover each team and the individual messages they might wish to deliver.

The Lake District’s 10 mountain rescue teams and two specialist teams provide a highly professional but volunteer search and rescue service on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year.

The teams’ 430 volunteers exist to help those individuals and groups who venture onto our fells and suffer an un-fortunate accident, a medical emergency or just find themselves lost.

These 12 teams form LDSAMRA that represents their interests both regionally and nationally.

LDSAMRA is a registered charity and a non-operational umbrella organisation.

It has been in existence for more than 40 years, initially as the Lake District Mountain Accidents Association (LDMAA), and is managed by three trustees, the chairman, treasurer and secretary.

The association is tasked by its 12 member teams to support and represent them. It provides a link and a central voice to the statutory emergency services and other external stakeholders.

LDSAMRA collates accident statistics and takes action to reduce the ever growing workload on team members.

Last year was Cumbria’s busiest year, with teams responding to more than 650 ‘999’ calls for people in distress.

So far, 2019 has seen a reduction in the numbers of callouts due to the milder winter and hope-fully the many safety and awareness campaigns that continue to be promoted by the teams.

To date, this year the Lake District teams have responded to more than 450 calls for help, of which 30 per cent fall into the category of truly avoidable.

Adventure Smart is the most recent initiative to reduce the avoidable incidents, most being down to inadequate preparation, not having the right equipment and lacking the required skill in using map and compass.

Smart phone technology should never be relied upon and is not a replacement for traditional methods of navigation.

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