Mountain Rescue across the UK is a voluntary organisation which relies solely on the support and generosity of the public; whether that be as an active member out on the fells; as a supporter with fund raising and/or admin activities or a friend providing donations. Whether it is time or money given without this the team simply could not function or be there when they are needed most.
Coniston Mountain Rescue Team was founded in 1947 and was the first team of its kind in the UK. There are currently over 30 highly trained volunteers on the active list, turning out in all weathers 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and all funded solely by donations. The team covers a wide section of South Lakeland and are often called to assist neighbouring teams when a larger search area is involved. The team’s headquarters, built in 1982 by private and commercial donations has a control centre, a meeting room, garages for the 3 vehicles and equipment store.
Coniston, a small working Lakeland village of approximately 1000 people, has a range of attractive mountains as a backdrop, which attracts a high number of visitors to the area. These include Coniston Old Man and Wetherlam, together with areas such as Dow Crag, one of the largest rock massifs in the Lake District and a honeycomb of old slate and copper mines all of which can prove dangerous to the unwary. The team also cover Grizedale Forest, which attracts visitors from across the UK and beyond, and has its share of accidents, many of them on bikes.
Emergency 999 call outs continue to rise each year and it is critical that the team keep pace with advances in technology which, of course, brings increasing costs.
It is therefore vital to build and maintain a sound financial base for any Mountain Rescue team and Coniston is no exception. To maintain vehicles, premises, equipment, medical and countless other supplies all costs significant money – we need to raise in excess of £20,000 every year to cover these costs to ensure that we are able to continue to provide the valuable search and rescue service we have provided for the last 70 years.