VOLUNTEERS swung into action last week after receiving reports of an injured hillwalker at a popular hiking spot.

The Ochils Mountain Rescue Team (OMRT) was called to John Knox's Pulpit in Fife on Thursday, July 16, as part of a multi-agency response.

The team worked along side the Scottish Ambulance Service, Charity Air Ambulance, Tayside Mountain Rescue Team and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

Ross MacIntyre, OMRT secretary, told the Advertiser the emergency services were working to assist a "walker with a leg injury".

The casualty was eventually evacuated by helicopter, and OMRT has wished them a "speedy recovery".

This was one of a few callouts OMRT has received in recent week, as Ross says the hills are starting to get busier as lockdown measures are eased.

He said: "Mountain rescue has definitely picked up since travel restrictions were lifted a couple of weeks ago.

"As we all know, hills are becoming much busier."

And as well as getting busier, Ross says there has been an increase in the number of new hillwalkers venturing out onto the Ochils and beyond.

He said: "We're seeing a different type of person on the hills, maybe some people who, historically, haven't been out on our local hills."

While that may increase the risk of more callouts, it is not something OMRT would ever discourage.

Ross said: "We'd massively encourage that; there are huge benefits, mentally and physically, from people getting out and exploring our wild places."

All he, and the rest of the OMRT team ask, is that people prepare properly.

According to the Scottish Mountain Rescue website, that includes letting a responsible adult know details of planned hikes before setting off.

It is also advisable to wear suitable footwear for the terrain, take plenty of clothes and prepare for all weathers.

To access more safety information, visit tinyurl.com/yyf2es4g.