THE great outdoors is one of our most precious assets in Cumbria.

For good reason, the area has been promoted as a place where everyone can enjoy physical pursuits, test themselves against the elements, and stay fit in the process.

But of course, danger can be present.

That problem is how to establish a balance between allowing everyone, from the super fit to the inactive, and from locals to once-in-a-lifetime tourists, to partake in and enjoy a range of outdoor pursuits from the sedate to the extreme, and keeping everyone who does take part safe.

Many, many times, we engage in activities such as swimming, hiking and running independently, as individuals, groups or families, where no-one is on hand to enforce a safety code.

And as the harrowing story of Bryxzel Galeon vividly shows, a danger is always present.

It’s therefore of absolute importance that at such times, beyond the reach of the safety regulations provided by organised activities, we take a moment to absorb sound advice from those with expertise in the field.

So enjoy our wonderful countryside, and run, walk, swim, climb or even abseil to your heart’s content.

But always prepare well, and always be aware of the dangers.

And if in doubt, ask. Advice is always there if you need it.