Cumbria

New base for Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team

New Wasdale base
Image caption A campaign to pay for the new base was launched in 2014

One of the Lake District's busiest mountain rescue teams has moved into a new £650,000 purpose-built base.

Wasdale Mountain Rescue team has more than 40 volunteers and operates mainly in the Wasdale and Eskdale valleys.

Since the late 1960s the team has been based in Gosforth, near Sellafield - most recently in makeshift buildings behind the village's Killbank Hotel.

Now, after a four-year funding campaign, a new base has officially opened nearby.

Peppercorn rent

The team regularly responds to more than 100 emergency calls every year - so far this year volunteers have been called out 83 times.

England's highest mountain Scafell Pike is part of the team's area and is the scene for many rescues.

The new facility includes a training tower, a retractable 60ft (18m) radio mast and a control room.

It has been built on land just off the A595 which is owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, but leased at a peppercorn rent.

Team chairman John Bamforth said: "This is a fabulous story of West Cumbrian resources coming together to support our mountain rescue activity in Wasdale, Eskdale and the surrounding areas.

"We are very proud of what we do and the ability, now, to invest in the provision of our service for years to come."

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