Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs have been putting their hounds and humans through their paces during training sessions in the Englefield Estate woodlands.
Berkshire Search and Rescue Dogs (Berkshire SAR Dogs) is a UK charity comprised entirely of volunteers. They provide a specialist search dog resource to the police and the statutory emergency services as well as assisting other SAR teams.
They are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to search for high risk, vulnerable missing people. These services are provided free of charge and the team receives no government funding.
The group is made up of 25 operational humans and 12 operational search dogs, who constantly undergo regular rigorous training to meet the high standards required to obtain operational status. There are also 16 dogs in training to achieve national qualification.
Whilst undertaking this, the majority of the volunteers also have full-time jobs.
Jon Bromley, Chairman, Berkshire SAR Dogs, said: “Without the use of fabulous areas such as The Englefield Estate, we would not be able to bring such varied realism and scale to the training of both our human and K9 members. Their support is invaluable, and it is very much appreciated.”
The team have many different breeds both qualified and in training, they predominantly use the working breeds due to their stamina and scenting abilities.
Richard Edwards, Englefield Estate Forestry Manager, said: “The work that both the handlers and the dogs do is exceptional and helps to saves lives, so it something that Englefield Estate is very pleased to support.
“The Englefield woodland provides the perfect location for the SAR Dogs to train with a vast expanse of forest area similar to the surrounding countryside, getting dogs and handlers used to working in this sort of environment.”
The Berkshire SAR Dogs team works closely with Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue and is a member of Lowland Rescue. As a specialist dog team, they also often support operations in neighbouring counties.