Wednesday evening training tonight at the Terraced Gardens, Rivington

This evening our routine weekly training exercise took place within the hillside Terraced Gardens at Rivington, also known as the Bungalow Grounds, and locally as the ‘Chinese Gardens.’ (Though rather confusingly there has never been a Chinese Garden / Gardens, though there is a Japanese Lagoon and Garden within the Terraced Gardens !)

Regular readers will know a large number of incidents we attend take place within the Terraced Gardens and their immediate environs, including the moorland hilltop landmark of Rivington Pike.

It is therefore very important that all our members know this complex hillside area of tracks, woodland and open moorland intimately, and so tonight’s exercise was an area familiarity session to get to know the many tracks, features and access points within the extensive Terraced Gardens area.

Sixteen team call out list members attended tonight, which commenced at 20.00hrs at the Lower House Car Park area with an outline of the local features and driveable tracks by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, who many years ago surveyed the Terraced Gardens, researched extensively their interesting history and produced and authored the guide leaflet to the Terraced Gardens now sold by United Utilities.

All members present were then allocated to our four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, which drove in to the Terraced Gardens, with the aim of teaching all our newer drivers which tracks within the Gardens are driveable (Please note these tracks are not open for public vehicle use, and are used by the team only for emergency access use and training related to such)

Checks were also made on the many different types of access keys we have for the large number of locked gates within the area (Such keys are kindly provided by United Utilities to us to for emergency use and related training)

Team members on foot also visited the less publicly frequented Horwich end of the Gardens and the lower parts to the west of Roynton Lane, again to familiarise themselves with this area.

By 21.45hrs the exercise was complete, and all taking part now have the benefit of a better understanding of this complex area.

We were joined this fine and warm evening by Carole Truman of Wilderswood, Horwich.

Carole recently expressed an interest in joining the team, but as we have no current membership vacancies she has kindly offered her services in the interim to be an ‘exercise casualty.’

Carole, a very experienced hill walker and mountaineer, attended tonight to meet team members and to have a chat about what is expected of an ‘exercise casualty’ and also to find out a little more about the team.