“YOU don’t need to push your limits to have an amazing visit.”

That was the message from Cumbria Tourism following a surge in ‘avoidable’ incidents on Lake District fells over the last week.

“After so many months of lockdown it’s perfectly understandable that many people can’t wait to visit the Lake District to explore and enjoy our world-famous landscapes,” said Cumbria Tourism chairman Jim Walker.

“However, it’s more important than ever that both visitors and locals plan ahead to help minimise avoidable risks and reduce the strain on our volunteer mountain rescue teams.

“Be ‘adventure smart’: consider the weather, your equipment and personal skills before setting out to ensure a great day in the fells.”

The message comes in the same week that Richard Warren, chairman of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, pleaded with the public to behave responsibly on the fells, saying the national park’s mountain rescue teams had been experiencing a ‘tidal wave’ of callouts which was putting a ‘real strain’ on volunteers and was ‘unsustainable’.

Incidents included a 12-hour-long rescue of a family of three on Scafell Pike in ‘forecasted atrocious conditions’ over the weekend.

Mr Walker, of Cumbria Tourism, acknowledged the region’s open spaces ‘mean so much to so many’. According to the organisation’s 2018 visitor survey, 94 per cent of tourists felt better mentally while visiting the county.

“There’s a fantastic range of activities for all experience levels available, you don’t need to push your limits to have an amazing visit,” he said.

“If in doubt, err on the side of caution and leave a challenging route to a later day.

“Alternatively, why not hire a guide or instructor? Visit www.visitlakedistrict.com to learn more and book.”

The website adventuresmart.uk, which is being promoted by the Lake District’s mountain rescue teams, tells visitors to ask themselves three questions before they set off for a day in the outdoors:

- Do I have the right gear? This includes warm clothing and boots that fit well.

- Do I know what the weather will be like? This includes consulting the weather forecast and not being afraid to change plans if conditions are poor.

- Am I confident I have the knowledge and skills for the day? This includes being able to read a map and planning for the least-able member of the group.