[A] lamb stuck down a 40 foot deep disused quarry tunnel in the Cumbrian fells has been rescued by the RSPCA and Coniston Mountain Rescue volunteers and returned safely to a local Coniston farmer.
An eagle-eyed geology student from Leeds University who was doing fieldwork at the old Ash Ghyll slate quarry near Coniston called the RSPCA for help when she spotted the stricken young Herdwick on the afternoon of Sunday 11 June. An Inspector from the animal welfare charity met student Leigh Marsh at the site and quickly realised they would need to call on Mountain Rescue to help with the rescue.
RSPCA Inspector Victoria Westwood said: “This poor lamb had got himself in a real pickle. He was stuck down a deep tunnel inside an old quarry with very steep sides and he just couldn’t get out.
“It was clear that any rescue at this deep and hazardous site would need to be carried out by people with expertise in this kind of terrain. So I contacted Mountain Rescue who arrived within the hour.
“After carefully making their way down into the quarry, the guys from Mountain Rescue had to wade through an old tunnel to get to the lamb. They were then able to catch it and secure it in an animal bag, while I traced the owner of the lamb.
“The lamb was carefully hoisted up the quarry walls then Mountain Rescue carried him down the fells where we reunited the lamb with his owner, Mr Inman from Highground Farm. The lamb was checked over and despite its ordeal, miraculously hadn’t suffered any injuries.
“The RSPCA would like to offer their thanks to Leeds University student Leigh Marsh, who called the incident in, and everyone at Coniston Mountain Rescue. That lamb would have died if it wasn’t for them.”
If you see an animal you have concerns about please call the RSPCA’s emergency line on 0300 1234 999.
To help the RSPCA continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming animals in desperate need of care please visit: www.rspca.org.uk/give or text LOVE to 87023 to give £3 (Text costs £3 + one standard network rate message).