Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team

Banner Image © Patterdale Mountain Rescue

Who are the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team and what do they do?

The Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team, one of the busiest in the country,  is made up entirely of trained volunteers. They are on call 24 hours a day, every day of the year and are activated by the Police or other statutory emergency services.

Up to 2023, the Team has carried out more than 2700 rescues since it was established in 1964.

The Team's area covers about 140square km of the highest land in England, including Helvellyn, High Street, Fairfield, St Sunday Crag and the wild beauty of Dovedale and Deepdale, as well as quieter valleys and tops of Martindale and Riggindale to the east of Ullswater. It contains some of the great classic ridge walks and climbs of the Lake District and attracts thousands of visitors a year. 

The majority of mountain rescues and searches involve hill walkers or climbers but paragliders, mountain bikers and runners  figure in their statistics too. The Team attended both the Lockerbie aircraft disaster as well as other major incidents such as the Grayrigg train crash.

The Team also help search for missing children and vulnerable adults, on and off the hills. The Team has a graded Trailing Dog Team. Dave Benson and his dog Brock passed their final assessment in 2019 and follow a long line of qualified search dogs.

The team hold qualifications in swift water rescue and can be called to search riverbanks and wade chest deep through flooded urban streets helping devastated homeowners.  On Ullswater they assist swimmers, kayakers and pleasure crafts that get into difficulty and work with H.M. Coastguard.

When was Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team founded?

The Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team was founded in 1964 by Dr James Ogilvie, Patterdale’s local doctor. A man of vision and action, he was an experienced climber and mountaineer and his efforts established a Team that has developed into one of the busiest in the Lake District. 

The Supporters’ Club was established by the late John Scott in 1998.

There have been 8 Team Leaders since 1964:

'Doc' Ogilvie, Founder of the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team and Association © Patterdale Mountain Rescue

The Team's Base

The Team operated from a converted barn provided by the Patterdale Hotel. This was adapted to changing needs over the years, but due to limited facilities had restricted the development of the Team and the service it offered. We are, however, very grateful to the Patterdale Hotel owners for long term support in providing the old premises at Deer Howe for so many years.

Deer How is situated on the far right © Patterdale Mountain Rescue

The new centre was built and opened in 1999.   It is sited in the heart of Patterdale, has facilities to provide the highest standard of on-site medical care, a dedicated quiet area for friends or family of the casualty, a control room with the latest communications technology, security for vehicles and equipment, an indoor training area and facilities to educate school groups and the general public in the ways of mountain rescue.

The New Centre © Patterdale Mountain Rescue

Subsequently an additional dedicated area was added to act as a boat house to accommodate the rigid inflatable boat. In 2015 Storm Desmond caused flooding to the ground floor of the centre and subsequent construction work was undertaken to protect the building from flooding. At this time extra floor and storage space was added as well as updating the control room.

To Support the Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team

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