WESTMORLAND and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron is to launch a campaign to help mountain rescue teams cope with money lost to the tax man.

There are 48 MRTs across England and Wales which pay 20 per cent tax on items such as waterproofs, helmets, certain climbing gear, telephone calls, electricity, vehicle fuel and gas.

A £200,000 tax refund grant is split between all teams annually to help offset the costs.

But Mr Farron, who is also vice-chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Mountain Rescue, has learned the deal is to end next year.

“The loss of that would be really dreadful,” he said. “The recently departed Stewart Hulse was an avid campaigner in this fight and to see his legacy disappear would be incredibly sad."