HILLWALKERS are urged to take “suitable precautions” while exploring the Stirlingshire countryside after a number of visitors were hospitalised. 

Police in Stirling have released details of four incidents in the space of three days in which men injured themselves while hiking and had to be taken to hospital. 

Officers said they were also dealing with an increased number of complaints relating to illegal camping and anti-social behaviour offences, in addition to taking on more traffic management duties. 

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The local area commander for police in Stirling warned visitors to ensure they wear appropriate clothing and footwear and to carry plenty of water and a mobile phone with them in case of an emergency. 

On Thursday, July 9, police were called after an 18-year-old man from Greater Glasgow fell and sustained an ankle injury close to the summit of Ben A'an.

Local police officers traced the man with the assistance of Killin Mountain Rescue Team and he was airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow. 

The following day, a member of the public found a 30-year-old man from Ayrshire collapsed on Bed Ledi, close to Callander. The man was taken via “helimed” to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.

On the same day, police and the Lomond Mountain Rescue Team responded to a report of a 25-year-old man from the Edinburgh area falling and injuring his ankle while descending Ben Lomond.

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He was airlifted off the hillside and taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

On Saturday, July 11 a 56-year-old man from Glasgow fell and sustained an ankle injury on the descent from Ben Venue.

Lomond Mountain Rescue Team attended and traced the male within a forest in the Ledard Glen area, near to Kinlochard.

He was carried to a nearby ambulance before he was taken to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

Chief Inspector Gill Marshall, Local Area Commander for Stirling said: “We fully understand the public’s desire to get outdoors again and enjoy everything that rural Stirlingshire has to offer, but it is essential that hill-walkers and those venturing out into the hills take the appropriate steps to keep themselves, and others with them safe.

"Suitable footwear, weather-appropriate clothing and plenty of water are essential, while you should always carry your mobile phone with you in the event of an emergency. Please also tell people where you are going and when you intend to be back so that they can raise the alarm if you fail to return.

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“Over the past few days, we have been incredibly grateful for the vital assistance and support of our mountain rescue teams. These individuals bring with them extensive levels of experience and a range of resources that aid in the recovery of people injured or stranded on hillsides.

“I would encourage anyone who is intending to explore our local beauty spots or try some hillwalking to follow the guidance available on the Scottish Mountain Rescue website and social media channels.

“The public visiting other popular visitor attractions are also once again reminded to take cognisance of the existing guidance and regulations and make sure their visits to these locations do not result in damage, littering or other offences.”