Over the last year the recession has seen thousands of Britain's swap their holiday abroad for a holiday in the UK. This has seen a rise in the number of call-outs for the Mountain Rescue Teams in England and Wales. British tourism has seen a boom, with more people opting for the so called "staycation," but it has also put the specialist skills of Mountain Rescuers in England and Wales in high demand.
The biggest percentage increase in national rescues comes from the Yorkshire Dales, with the most recent figures for 2009 showing a rise of over 100 percent. The Mountain Rescue statistics for England and Wales organisations reveal that national incidents have soared by 21 per cent to 1054 call-outs last year in comparison to 880 the year previous.
The England and Wales Mountain Rescue Team believe that many people do not know how to read a map or use a compass properly. Both are cheap and easy to buy, but without the experience and knowledge of how to use them, they're pointless pieces of equipment.
The busiest Mountain Rescue Team last year was Cumbria, with 438 call-outs, compared to 400 incidents in the previous year. However, it's the Yorkshire Dales organisations like Clapham's Cave Rescue Organisation and Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue that have seen the call-out figures double from 39 to 81 for major incidents in the past year. Since January, The Mountain Rescue Team of Swaledale has already received nine call-outs.
With such figures, the organisation has estimated that they will deal with more than 35 incidents this year in comparison to 30 incidents last year. With about 50 members, the rescue team has seen an increase in helping the North Yorkshire Police with major investigations, like the search for Claudia Lawrence who went missing in March of last year from her York home.
The Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team relies of public donations to run it's £25,000 a year operation, but these figures look to rise to £30,000 this year. Chairman, Dr William Lumb of the Swaledale Mountain Rescue Team said " without a doubt, more people have been out and about in the countryside over the past year because they have decided to save some money by holidaying in the UK." He also said " more people who are later in life are trying to keep active which is great news.
However, it does mean that with our ageing population, we are seeing more elderly people heading to places such as Swaledale. " With these statistics, more people are likely to require the help of Mountain Rescuers because they have got themselves in to trouble.