Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team – ‘New Base’

Wasdale Mountain Rescue Team has been assisting people in the Western fells for almost 50 years. The team consists of 40 fell going volunteers and several base operators. Each year responding to between 90 – 120 “999” calls to rescue people who are injured or lost in the local mountains. They also assist other organisations when requested. In December 2015 the team assisted with the rescue of people affected during the severe flooding caused by Storm Desmond, in Cockermouth, Keswick, Carlisle, Whalley and York.

The Rescue Team provides a free 24-hour per day 365 days a year service to the public.

The team operates in a geographical area that covers principally the Wasdale and Eskdale valleys but extends over Cold Fell towards the coast in the North and onto Ulpha Fell in the South. England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike is part of the team’s area and is the scene for many rescues.

After over 40 years in the village of Gosforth the team decided a few years ago that they had “outgrown” their current base behind The Kellbank Hotel. The new £555,096 base will be a modern, fit for purpose building with enhanced training and welfare facilities, communications and accessibility to the A595.
The new base will be built on land just off the A595 near Gosforth. The land is currently owned by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority and will be leased at a peppercorn rent.

John Bamforth, WMRT’s Chair, 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 funding injection from Copeland Community Fund will enable us to invest in the provision of our service for many years to come. Our sincere thanks go to Copeland Community Fund, the NDA, local residents and all our supporters over many years in making the new base a reality.”

Other funding is being provided from the team’s own funds (£324,950) and the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association (£12,000).


  • 465 sq metres of New or Refurbished Floorspace
  • £336,950.00 of Match Funding


  • Provision of a modern, fit for purpose base which more effectively meets needs of team members e.g. welfare and training facilities, and enhances ability of team to recruit new volunteers therefore increasing number of volunteer hours
  • Base will enable more effective service delivery and therefore enhance the service offered
  • Raise team’s profile in the community and enhance fundraising ability

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