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Safety in the hills

Bonaly emergency services


The Pentland Hills are low-lying and close to roads, so are relatively safe. Very few incidents occur.

Walkers occasionally suffer from injuries resulting from a slip or underlying health condition. Please ensure you carry warm, waterproof clothing, carry a torch and map, and know how to use them!

Mountain bikers often fall and suffer injuries. Bikers using the hills in winter should take good lighting, and warm and waterproof clothing in case they become immobilised. Please follow all temporary route diversions created due to seasonal events such as lambing: mountain biking at night has caused distress to lambing ewes in recent years, especially around Maiden's Cleugh, Harbour Hill and Bonaly.


You should check out the weather forecast before you set off. We recommend the Mountain Weather Information System. Be aware that the weather can change quickly.

Danger at reservoirs

Perhaps the greatest danger in the hills are the 13 reservoirs, especially when they freeze, tempting people to walk onto the ice. The Regional Park adheres to a strict Ice Safety Plan, notifying the police, fire brigade, local schools and Radio Forth1 when ice has formed. Do not venture onto the ice or allow your dog to walk on the ice. If someone has fallen in, contact the emergency servies on 999 immediately.

All Officers carry throw-lines, and there are throw-lines installed around Bonaly, Harperrig, Threipmuir and Harlaw reservoirs.

Fire hazard

Fires that become out of control are one of the most damaging consequences of camping. Read more about how to reduce the risk of out of control fires. Please inform us and the emergency services immediately if you see an unattended fire.

Emergency contact

If you do get into difficulties in the Regional Park, please contact the Regional Park Headquarters on 0131 529 2401, or our Duty Officer on 07798 505301 (office hours). If it is an emergency please contact the emergency service immediately, dialling 999, and giving them your grid reference. You can instantly see your grid reference if you download an app such as OS Locate. Another app becoming more popular is What3Words, although the emergency services have not adopted this in Scotland at present (November 2019).


Always check out the weather forecast before you set off - click on Southern Uplands

Mountain Weather


Get the essential skills and knowledge

Safety in the mountains
Old Kirk road


Why not have a look at a webcam for an idea of what the weather is doing?

Pentland Hills webcam