A MOUNTAIN rescue boss has had his say on the divisive issue of whether or not the public should be heading to the Lake District’s fells during the third national lockdown.

A story on the subject earlier this week prompted more than 100 comments of varying opinions on social media.

Pat Pudsey said: “Please stay off the high fells! No matter how experienced you may be, anyone can have an accident.”

Stu Merchant said: “Mountain rescue work hard enough without adding to their load.

“All it takes is a twisted ankle and you’d end up calling them out.

“I’ve seen the procedures they are following with Covid and it makes their job even harder.”

Chris Hitchings said: “If you’re local, know what you’re doing, then no, why should we (stay off the fells)?

“Know the risks and prepare properly – and if it’s not safe, don’t go.”

Craig Perry said: “If you live up that area, what’s the problem?

“Everyone needs time out the house or we’ll all go insane!”

And now Richard Warren, chairman of the Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association, has weighed in on the matter.

Mr Warren said he had been exercising from home and not heading out to the mountains to reduce the risk of him having an accident.

“I’m not judging people who decide that they are going to go out on the mountains to exercise,” he said.

“I’m just asking people to consider the risk that they’re taking and the potential for having an accident – which can impact on a voluntary mountain rescue team and the ambulance service. Mountain biking, skiing; they’re all activities that have the potential to put a demand on the National Health Service.

“I don’t think it’s in the spirit of exercising for your wellbeing.”

However, he said it was necessary to find a ‘balance’ and acknowledged that, by driving to beauty spots, a person could be further removed from other people than they would be in a busy town.

"I’m not saying you shouldn’t be getting in your car to exercise, many people have to, I’m just saying think about what you’re doing, why you’re doing it,” he said.