Ulverston WalkFest discover the unexpected...
Ulverston WalkFest                         discover the unexpected...

Ulverston WalkFest 2019

Saturday 27th April - Monday 6th May 2019



'A Mountain Emergency'   A talk by Martin Cooper from the Duddon and Furness Mountain Rescue Team (DFMRT)

Sunday 29 April 2018 at 7.30pm Supper Room, Coronation Hall, Ulverston 

LA12 7LZ

Tickets: £7 Pay on the door;  Unreserved seating


Martin Cooper has been an active member of DFMRT, and their Fundraising Officer, for 15 years.  His animated talk will take you through an actual call-out from being woken in the early hours to returning for a late breakfast.  Martin will show the kit carried, describe how  the incident evolved as further information and more members became available, success of a 'find' and how the casualty was dealt with.  It has been described as fascinating, informative and inspirational, and a great way to describe the rescue service.


We are so fortunate to have the Lakeland hills and mountains on our doorstep.  Most users of this glorious area enjoy what it has to offer without incident. But an alarming amount of people get into difficulties and call the emergency services.  It's at this point that they say how grateful they were that a call-out was made to the local mountain rescue team.  Duddon and Furness MRT is one of ten MRT's that cover the Lake District.  In 2017 DFMRT, one of the quieter teams, alone had 64 call-outs, a 50% increase on their previous high.  These all-outs can be during any day of the week and at any time of the day.  To maintain the quality of service necessitates a huge commitment from the 35 active members in DFMRT.  They have to get involved in a demanding training programme covering ten key areas of competence involving two evening and one full day practice every month in all weathers.  Many of the members have full-time jobs and families but have to be prepared to respond at any time of day or night.


Over the years DFMRT has expanded its role, from mostly rescuing people stranded on the fells to nowadays, providing support to other MRT's, and other emergency services including river searching and flood situations.  The team also works with the Search & Rescue Dog Association.


Facts you should know about DFMRT

  • It is entirely run by volunteers

  • It is a registered charity

  • It costs in the region of £35,000 per year to run the team with additional capital to find for replacing vehicles, and a planned new base

  • The majority of its funding comes from fundraising activities and donations

  • It provides a 24/7 emergency service (whatever the weather!) both on the fells and in urban and rural areas

  • Most emergency services can rely on government funding but not the MRT service

  • It is a free service

  • They are always grateful for donations in time or money.


    Ulverston WalkFest makes a small donation to DFMRT every year to show our appreciation and support.  You, too, can support this wonderful service by coming to this talk and possibly making a donation.  Alternatively, check out their website and go to the Support Us page.










Over the last few years we have had some wonderful speakers for our Celebrity Speaker event.  Our aim was to invite Cumbrian celebs with a connection to walking to talk for us about themselves and what they do.

In 2013 we had Eric Robson who talked about his time spent on and off camera with the man himself, Alfred Wainwright.  We had a bit of a WainwrightFest within the Ulverston WalkFest by inviting staff from the Wainwright Animal Shelter near Kendal to receive the proceeds from the raffle and Wainwright beer was available from the bar.  Eric kindly signed copies of his latest book and a 'grand time was 'ad by all'.

In 2014 we invited the Queen's Guide to Morecambe Bay Sands, Cedric Robinson who kept us amused with his anecdotes of leading those mad enough to attempt the crossing of Morecambe Bay sands.  

In 2015 we were pleased to have Bill Birkett, author, climber and photographer as our celebrity speaker.  Bill's nominated charity was SARDA the search and rescue  service with the aid of dogs.  The representative from SARDA brought his search dog, Sky who was definately the star of the show!  Sorry Bill - you were great as well.

In 2016 we had a wonderful sell-out evening with the iconic fellrunner and farmer Joss Naylor.  Joss became known as the King of the Fells or the Iron Man because of his successive peak-bagging records. Awarded the MBE for his services to sport and charity, now in his 80th year, Joss continues to be involved in encouraging young people to get involved in sport.  Raffle proceeds at this event went to Joss's nominated charity the Carlisle Children's Hospice and £500 went to The Brathay Trust at Ambleside.

Almost all of our speakers have very generously donated their time for this event for expenses only and we consider ourselves very blessed to have had their presence in enhancing Ulverston WalkFest.

For 2017 we are taking a year off so, unfortunalety,  there will not be a Celebrity Speaker.  However, we will have another stunning programme of walks and we look forward to seeing you all in 2018.




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