A man who plunged nearly 600ft down a Lake District mountain has issued a heartfelt plea for people to stay away from the fells during lockdown.

Richard Tiplady, 53, is still recovering from the extensive injuries he sustained in March this year. He still wants to climb but not yet and certainly not during the pandemic.

“It took 20 people and a helicopter to rescue me," he said.

“Many of these would be key workers. They were put to tremendous inconvenience but laid down what they were doing and turned out to save me.

“I live with the guilt that they put their own lives at risk rescuing me.”

He said nobody goes climbing with the thought that they will fall – not even climbers with as much experience as he had.

“There are lots of places on the fells where you can hurt yourself and now is definitely not the time to be putting pressure on those mountain rescue volunteers.”

Mr Tiplady shared widespread local concerns that the Government has said people could virtually travel as far as they wished to exercise which is being seen as giving them free rein to travel to the Lake District.

“I see Keswick council has put out a statement saying people are welcome but not now – and that is what everyone should be guided by.”

The sister of Chris Brown, the popular postie and fireman who died on the fells nearly a year ago, has added her plea for people to stay away.

Sarah Brown said: “If you are planning to go out on the fells then please, please make sure you are all prepared – we do not want a peak for MRT to be out on fells whilst lockdown is still on.”

Ms Brown’s plea underlines the warning of mountain rescue teams throughout Cumbria, urging people to be safe and not put volunteers at risk.

Lake District Search and Mountain Rescue Association chairman, Richard Warren, said: “We want people to exercise, but people have to use their common sense and realise that by climbing a mountain you risk the lives of the teams, who have to put themselves at risk and their families at risk,” he said.

“Anyone travelling to the Lakes to either climb or go hiking, think firstly is it wise to do so – to put others at risk if something went wrong.

“We can’t afford to have volunteers – as much as they want to help – be infected. If one person in one of the mountain rescue teams becomes infected, it means the whole team becomes quarantined for 14 days."