People are being asked to avoid taking unnecessary risks when exercising in the countryside after three cyclists required hospital treatment due to separate accidents recently.

The emergency services were called into action on each occasion with the inaccessible locations including coastal paths and plantations making rescue attempts more challenging.

All three incidents required a multi-agency response and on one occasion a HM Coastguard Rescue helicopter was required when a mountain biker had fallen down a steep bank near Bradda Head.

Kevin Groom, Chief Fire Officer for the Fire & Rescue Service, said: ‘We understand it is a difficult time for the Island’s community, and to go out for exercise can be both enjoyable and relaxing. However we are asking people to take extra care and not place extra demands on the emergency services and healthcare systems that are stretched to the limit.’

Emergency services were also called to help with a dog and its owner who had got into difficulty on Marine Drive on Wednesday.

Environment Minister Geoffrey Boot said: ‘Connecting with nature and the countryside is a fantastic way to boost our wellbeing. We want people to enjoy our UNESCO Biosphere responsibly and in line with guidance but we ask people to avoid placing any extra pressure on our hard working emergency services. Due to the locations they can take up much needed resources and most could be easily prevented.’

People should always follow the Countryside code and dog walkers are asked to keep dogs on leads when near livestock or ground nesting birds at this time of year.

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