OLDHAM’s heroes of the hills are underpinning the government’s instructions to stay at home during the coronavirus epidemic.

Justin Parkinson, chair of Oldham Mountain Rescue Team, praised the local community's "great restraint", in a period when the weather has been so pleasant.

He continued: “We’d urge them to continue to do so in order that don’t see another spike or resurgence of cases that prompts further lockdown measures from government.”

Meanwhile, across the country courageous teams continue to receive call outs to people in need of their services in spite of the ongoing government instructions to Stay At Home to protect the NHS and save lives.

“We’d like to thank everyone who has stayed at home and kept themselves and our volunteers safe in recent weeks,” said Mike France, the senior executive officer of Mountain Rescue England and Wales.

“But I can confirm MR teams in England and Wales were still called out 18 times last week (week ending Sunday, April 26) and there have been a total of 73 callouts in the past five weeks.

“It’s not just about walkers and climbers as a number of those callouts involved mountain biker injuries.

“We need everyone to keep being responsible by staying at home and, for their exercise, staying close to home too.”

“We’ve seen a massive drop in our usual number of call outs for this time of year and we’re very grateful for that – thank you to everyone who has stayed at home.

“But it is vitally important that people continue to be responsible. That is what will save lives and protect not only the NHS but also our MR volunteers, ” he added.