Holy­rood hon­ours moun­tain res­cue vol­un­teers

The Oban Times - - OUTDOORS -

MOUNTAINEERING or­gan­i­sa­tions have met with politi­cians at the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment thanks to en­thu­si­as­tic moun­taineer Liz Smith MSP.

In the shadow of Arthur’s Seat, where the sport of climb­ing in Scot­land is re­puted to have orig­i­nated in the Vic­to­rian age, Mountaineering Scot­land and Scot­tish Moun­tain Res­cue held a re­cep­tion at Holy­rood to cel­e­brate the ded­i­ca­tion and ex­per­tise of the vol­un­teers and pro­fes­sion­als who keep peo­ple safe in Scot­land’s moun­tains and wild land­scapes. Ms Smith has also sub­mit­ted a mo­tion in par­lia­ment recog­nis­ing and prais­ing the work of both or­gan­i­sa­tions and has re­ceived the cross-party back­ing of 36 MSPs so far.

Scot­tish Moun­tain Res­cue is the rep­re­sen­ta­tive and co­or­di­nat­ing body for moun­tain res­cue teams in Scot­land, speak­ing for 23 vol­un­tary teams in­volv­ing more than 800 vol­un­teers.

Mountaineering Scot­land is the rep­re­sen­ta­tive or­gan­i­sa­tion for hill walk­ers, climbers, moun­taineers and snows­port tour­ers in Scot­land, with nearly 15,000 mem­bers, and plays a ma­jor role in pro­mot­ing safety in Scot­land’s moun­tains, giv­ing ad­vice and pro­vid­ing sub­sidised train­ing cov­er­ing a range of es­sen­tial moun­tain skills.

At the re­cep­tion on Tues­day evening, hosted by Liz Smith MSP, more than 100 mem­bers, sup­port­ers and part­ners of the two or­gan­i­sa­tions dis­cussed with MSPs and their staff the con­tri­bu­tion mountaineering and moun­tain res­cue ser­vices make to the na­tion’s econ­omy and well-be­ing, as well as some of the op­por­tu­ni­ties and chal­lenges the fu­ture holds.

Speak­ing ahead of the event, Ms Smith, said: ‘With­out Mountaineering Scot­land and the Scot­tish Moun­tain Res­cue ser­vice our hills and moun­tains would be a lot more dan­ger­ous and it is only right that we cel­e­brate their hard work at Holy­rood. Scot­land is one of the world’s most pic­turesque coun­tries and vis­i­tors travel here to im­merse them­selves in the great out­doors and it is im­por­tant that a safety net ex­ists when things go awry.

‘I look for­ward to learn­ing more about both or­gan­i­sa­tions and this re­cep­tion is the per­fect op­por­tu­nity to cel­e­brate their work and in­form other MSPs about the chal­lenges they face and how best to in­crease safety on Scot­land’s moun­tains.’

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