Latest News From Eden District Council:
A trainee search and rescue dog named Kaiya helped launch English Tourism Week (17-25 March 2018) in the Eden Valley and North Pennines today (Tuesday 13 March 2018).
Special guests at the launch held at Kirkby Stephen’s Mountain Rescue Base, watched a demonstration of how search and rescue dogs like Kaiya play a vital role with Kirkby Stephen’s Mountain Rescue Team (KSMRT), to rescue walkers who get into difficulties.
The launch was attended by VisitEngland’s Head of Programmes, William Smart and local accommodation providers and transport operators. During the event, organised by Eden District Council’s Tourism Team in association with KSMRT, guests had the opportunity to look round the Mountain Rescue Team base, where displays has been put up highlighting walking opportunities that exist for both visitors and local people.
Walking is one of Eden’s most popular pastimes with visitors and locals, enjoying both low level and fell walking through the area’s inspiring landscape or trails such as the Coast to Coast walk.
KSMRT operates from a purpose-built base and is entirely funded by donations. All its members are unpaid volunteers, willing to respond any time of day, any day of the year, in any weather. There are between 20-30 callouts a year. The 30 or so full members of the team commit to a rigorous programme of training throughout the year, which includes:
• Casualty care
• Off-road and ‘blue-light’ driving
• Radio communications
• Search management
• Swift water rescue
VisitEngland’s England Director, Andrew Stokes said: “English Tourism Week is all about celebrating the value and quality of tourism in England, and there are many great reasons to explore what’s on your doorstep. From our stunning countryside to our vibrant cities and from our exceptional attractions to our outstanding coastal towns and rich heritage there is so much to experience. The whole industry comes together during English Tourism week to showcase the variety of tourism products across the country engaging locals and encouraging them to be tourists in their own city.”
During the Tourism Week launch at Kirkby Stephen, guests heard from a number of KSMRB team members about their role in encouraging local people and visitors to enjoy the great outdoors safely and responsibly.
“Our volunteers benefit from that safety net whenever they are out in the mountains of the UK and are more than willing to give up own time to make access to the outdoors environment available to all. The team actively encourages visitors to the area to be adventurous and to make the most of our stunning landscapes, but always to prepare by being appropriately equipped and clothed and by developing essential outdoor skills, particularly in navigation.”
There are plenty of opportunities to learn the skills required, such as navigating with a map and compass, from experienced walkers you may know, through a club, or on courses run by qualified mountain leaders. It is a good idea to leave a record of your intended route with someone who can raise the alarm if you do not return. If you need help in the hills call 999 and ask for the Police and then Mountain Rescue.
To find out more information and to book on any of the Penrith Ramblers walks visit www.visiteden.co.uk or call Penrith Tourist Information Centre: 01768 867466. To register interest in the Kirkby Stephen Dawdles walk on Thursday 22 March email: [email protected]