HILLWALKERS in Forth Valley have been asked to ensure they are equipped for their treks following a spike in rescues which have taken up valuable police time.

With various beauty spots re-opening to the public, officers across rural Stirlingshire have been dealing with numerous issues relating to traffic management, illegal camping and antisocial behaviour issues.

Responding to these reports has been made more challenging, following various calls to assist in locating and safely removing people from hills, cliffs and other remote locations.

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

Local officers and Killin Mountain Rescue Team attended, and the male was traced and provided with medical assistance before being airlifted to the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital in Glasgow.

The following day, a 30-year-old man from Ayrshire was found collapsed by a member of the public on Bed Ledi, close to Callander. Again, police and Killin Mountain Rescue Team attended.

The man was taken via helimed to Crosshouse Hospital in Kilmarnock.

Also, on Friday, officers and the Lomond Mountain Rescue Team responded to a report of a 25-year-old man from the Edinburgh area having fallen and sustained an ankle injury whilst descending Ben Lomond.

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

And on Saturday, July 11, a 56-year-old man from Glasgow fell and sustained an ankle injury having descended from Ben Venue.

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

He was carried from the forest to a nearby ambulance before he was conveyed 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 hillwalkers 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."