Nanette Milne, Scottish Conservative MSP for the North-east has praised the work of the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team. Speaking in the Scottish Conservatives Debate on Scotland’s Mountain Rescue Teams.
“I would like to pay tribute to the Braemar Mountain Rescue Team, its members and supporters.
“It was formed in 1965, continuing a long tradition of local people giving aid and working closely with the local police mountain rescue teams, a tradition which persists today. Over the years it has involved many unsung heroes, local men and women who for the love of the hills and concern for their fellow human beings, venture out into our hills and mountains in all weathers and conditions, most of their activities going unnoticed, and seldom talked about by the team members themselves.
“Currently there are 39 members in the team, and already since the beginning of last September they have completed 32 rescues, from missing skiers to fallen walkers. In addition to their rescue work they now do an annual programme of lectures and visits to raise public awareness, and they provide emergency telephones at Derry Lodge and the Spittal of Glenshee, helping to maintain mountain safety and rescue throughout the northeast of Scotland.
“Mountain Rescue Teams are as ever heavily reliant on voluntary fundraising to maintain their essential and expensive equipment, and there are undoubtedly significant challenges for them at the present time. But their very essence is their voluntary nature, and public sector reform, especially the creation of a single police force, must take this into account and support this volunteer base, helping it to develop alongside appropriate public sector financial support.
“I once coordinated a group of young Conservatives on a sponsored climb of Lochnagar in aid of Braemar Mountain rescue. Team members came with us, leading our younger members up the more challenging routes, whilst the rest of us went up the standard path to the top. We had a great day, the young guys learned a lot, and we handed well over £800 to the team, a significant sum at that time, and greatly appreciated by them. Many groups regularly undertake similar fundraising activities for charity, and I’d encourage more of them to donate at least some of their proceeds to mountain rescue teams, which will put them to excellent use.”