News from Ordnance Survey and Mountain Rescue England & Wales

British Winter Hillwalking

The latest post in our from the blogs series on Rohantime features news reported in many outdoor blogs also BBC and ITV news last week…

Ordnance Survey and Mountain Rescue England & Wales partner to reduce outdoor incidents by encouraging greater care when outside

Ordnance Survey (OS) and Mountain Rescue England and Wales (MREW) have today announced how they want to make the outside more enjoyable, accessible and safe for all, by encouraging the public to be more mindful and better prepared when heading outdoors. The partnership was made after MREW’s 2016 callout figures showed incidents to be up for the fourth year running, and a survey commissioned by OS also revealed 76% of British recreational walkers and hikers do not properly plan their route or what to pack in preparation of their walk/hike.

In 2016 MREW attended 1812 callouts, up 170 on the previous year. A total of 360 were serious or fatal. Mountain bike incidents also continued to rise in 2016, though not at the same rate as previous years. In all, there were only 14 days in 2016 without a mountain rescue callout in England and Wales.

Mike France, chairman of Mountain Rescue England & Wales, says:

“Each week thousands of people head outdoors in Britain and enjoy their adventures without incident. We certainly don’t want to discourage people from doing this, but people need to make sure they have the right kit and have let someone know the route they’re taking if they are heading off the beaten path. This can save lives.

“Almost 500 of the incidents MREW attended could possibly have been avoided believes X. He says: “We had people contacting us because they were lost, stuck, or suffered a minor slip, some said they were ‘simply unable to continue’. These types of incidents place a huge strain on our resources and volunteers, who in 2016 gave up over 80,000 hours of their time helping and rescuing others who have run into difficulties. It’s great to be partnering with Ordnance Survey’s GetOutside initiative and educating people on both the benefits and steps people should take to enjoying the outdoors.”

OS’s in-depth survey of over 2000 adults from across Great Britain who enjoy recreational walking and hiking, highlighted the need for a more safety minded approach when venturing outdoors. 83% of those surveyed admitted that if they were in trouble on a mountain and had no phone signal they wouldn’t know what to do. It also revealed how more and more walkers and hikers, especially those from younger generations, are not carrying paper maps, compasses or whistles, and are relying entirely on the functionality of their mobile phones, even though only 28% of all respondents would think to check in advance the availability of a mobile phone signal in the place to where they are heading.

Nick Giles, Managing Director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, says:

“Great Britain is a varied and beautiful country, offering something different each time you head out. Mountain Rescue do an awesome job in often difficult circumstances, and it is a job we should all be appreciative of. Their figures for last year and our survey findings demonstrate the ongoing importance of keeping safe and being prepared when heading outside. While you can never eradicate accidents, we can at least as individuals take more responsibility in the hope preventing incidents. Let’s see if together we can reduce the number of Mountain Rescue incidents in 2017.”

Read more Ordnance Survey (OS) and Mountain Rescue England and Wales

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