Walker trapped in fells peat bog

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A MAN experienced that sinking feeling after getting stuck in a peat big.

Members of Bowland Pennine Mountain Rescue spent two hours digging the 52-year-old Garstang man out of a bog on the fells above Chipping.

Mountain rescue volunteer Paul Durham admitted it was one of their more unusual call-outs.

He said: “This is the first man stuck in bog call I have ever had in 38 years with the team.”

The man, and his female companion, had spent the day walking a popular route when the man stepped into a peat bog between the summits of Saddle Fell and Totridge and immediately sank to his thigh.

He was so stuck in the glutinous mire, that the more he tried to pull himself out, the deeper he was trapped.

After struggling to help him, the woman managed to get a signal on a mobile phone and called the emergency services at around 5pm on Wednesday.

Rescuers were scrambled for what turned into a three hour mission to free him.

Paul said: “It was our training night so when we got the call we thought it was an exercise.

“We dispatched the Land Rover and climbed as high as we could on the road, there were 15 of us initially.

“When we got fell side we couldn’t get an accurate grid reference so decided to walk up.

“There were four of us so we split into two, east and west, and saw what we thought were two figures in the distance and realised that was them.”

Paul added: “He was stuck for a couple of hours and we ended up having to use shovels and literally dig him out.

“With all the expensive the equipment we have, the only piece we could use was a spade!

“We just dug around him as much as we could until eventually we were able to extricate the man.”

“He said the ground was so soft and glutenous one of our guys got in too deep but was fortunately able to get out.”

Paul added: “The land is very boggy up there and he must have stepped in up to 40 of these areas during the course of the day and for some reason just got a particularly sticky one.”

Paul said one of the biggest problems with the Trough of Bowland is the very soggy ground, caused by a combination of peat and the British weather,

He said that people don’t always give themselves enough time to get back down from a walk and often ended up trapped in the dark.