THE Cave Rescue Organisation has upgraded its communications system, with support from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority.

The Clapham-based charity needed to move from analogue to digital communications, in keeping with mountain rescue teams across the country.

And a Sustainable Development Fund (SDF) grant of £7,500 helped cover the costs of putting a new base station repeater network in place, with the charity securing other funds to pay for new radio handsets and associated kit.

The CRO, which has 60 volunteers, is trained to save lives above and below ground in the Yorkshire Three Peaks and Malhamdale area of the national park.

CRO spokesman Jonty Rhodes said: “We are incredibly grateful for the national park’s SDF grant towards our new digital radio infrastructure. The contribution has gone directly into equipment that will both keep CRO team members safe while out in the field and enable us to work more efficiently towards helping us save lives above and below ground in the Yorkshire Dales.’’

Chris Clark, member champion for sustainable development at the national park, said: “The Cave Rescue Organisation offers a vital service and we are delighted to be able to support it. The volunteers receive around 70 callouts a year – some of them complex operations – and it’s important that they can rely on complete communications coverage across the area they work in.”

The project contributes towards achieving the Yorkshire Dales National Park Management Plan’s ambition to make the park a friendly, open and welcoming place with outstanding opportunities to enjoy its special qualities.

The SDF has a budget of £175,000 for 2019/20. The fund is open to any individual, business, community group or voluntary sector body. So far this financial year, £94,300 has been allocated to 16 projects across the national park.

To apply for a grant, telephone 01969 652337, or email: An application form, a set of guidance notes and case studies can be found online at