Be careful out there on them thar hills, girls …

Former Dumbarton advertising executive Karen Hood (right) enjoys a safe and spectacular day out walking on Ben Ledi in the hills near Loch Lomond.

By Democrat reporter

Police are urging members of the public intending who go hillwalking to take appropriate safety precautions to keep themselves safe, following a number of rescue incidents over the past few days.

With various beauty spots re-opening to the public, local officers across rural Stirlingshire, Loch Lomondside and the Arrochar Alps have been dealing with numerous issues relating to traffic management, illegal camping and antisocial behaviour issues.

Responding to these reports has been made more challenging following various calls to assist in locating, and safely removing, people from hills, cliffs and other remote locations.

On Thursday 9 July, police were called after an 18-year-old man from the Glasgow area fell and sustained an ankle injury close to the summit of Ben A’an.

Local officers and Killin Mountain Rescue Team attended and the male was traced and provided with medical assistance before being airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

The following day, a 30-year-old man from Ayrshire was found collapsed by a member of the public on Bed Ledi,close to Callander. Again, police and Killin Mountain Rescue Team attended.

The man was taken via helimed to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.

Also on Friday, officers and the Lomond Mountain Rescue Team responded to a report of a 25-year-old man from the Edinburgh area having fallen and sustained an ankle injury whilst descending Ben Lomond.

He was also airlifted off the hillside and taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

On Saturday 11 July a 56-year-old man from Glasgow fell and sustained an ankle injury having descended from Ben Venue.

Lomond Mountain Rescue Team attended and traced the male within the Ledard Glen area, near to Kinlochard.

He was carried from the forest to a nearby ambulance before he was conveyed to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Anyone looking to set off on a hill-walking trip is asked to consider their safety, plan their walks in advance and bring all necessary equipment with them.

Chief Inspector Gill Marshall, Local Area Commander for Stirling said: “We fully understand the public’s desire to get outdoors again and enjoy everything that rural Scotland has to offer, but it is essential that hill-walkers and those venturing out into the hills take the appropriate steps to keep themselves, and others with them safe.

“Suitable footwear, weather appropriate clothing and plenty of water are essential, while you should always carry your mobile phone with you in the event of an emergency. Please also tell people where you are going and when you intend to be back, so that they can raise the alarm if you fail to return.

“Over the past few days we have been incredibly grateful for the vital assistance and support of our mountain rescue teams. These individuals bring with them extensive levels of experience and a range of resources that aid in the recovery of people injured or stranded on hillsides.

“I would encourage anyone who is intending to explore our local beauty spots, or try some hillwalking to follow the guidance available on the Scottish Mountain Rescue website and social media channels.

“The public visiting other popular visitor attractions are also once again reminded to take cognisance of the existing guidance and regulations and make sure their visits to these locations do not result in damage, littering or other offences.”

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