Search and Rescue Dogs Association (Southern Scotland)

West Highland Way Challenge
***£ 1400 RAISED*** Claire Bremner Running for Charity

Claire is once again making valiant efforts to raise funds for SARDA (Southern Scotland).

She is running the full 95 miles of the West Highland Way next weekend.

20th-21st June 2015

So far she has managed to raise over £ 800.

Please support her challenge at her Just Giving Page;

Friends of Daniel Bennett - Sponsored Bike Ride
**OVER £ 2000 !! RAISED**

Sponsored Cycle in Memory of Daniel Bennett

29-31 May 2015

Friends of Daniel Bennet have organised a bike run from Workington to Sunderland following the Coast to Coast route.

The bike ride was originally planned with Daniel and his friends Damian and Mike and is following the same timetable and route they had all hoped to ride together.

Daniel was also a keen hillwalker, however, Daniel was reported missing after walking alone on a mountain near Tyndrum in March 2015.

A large scale search was carried out by Mountain Rescue Teams and SARDA dog teams over several days. The high tops of the mountains retained the cold harsh Winter conditions and skills of the teams were challenged.

Sadly the body of Daniel was found on 23/03/2015 and he had fallen to his death in icy conditions.

Both Damian Waterworth and Ian Cuthbertson are grateful for the help of the teams who gave up their time to search for the friend.

They would now like to continue with their planned ride in Memory of Daniel and are gratefully seeking sponsorship so that they may raise funds for the Search and Rescue Dog Association.

Please find their Just Giving page at the following link;

Claire tackles an ULTRA-MARATHON for SARDA

Claire tackles The Wall Run - 21-22 June 2014

Once again we are being supported by Claire Bremner who is the daughter of Liz Outram, our Call Out Coordinator.

Next month she is making a hugely inspirational effort in running 69 miles !! From Carlisle Castle to the Millennium Bridge in Gateshead. An incredible distance and effort all in support of SARDA (Southern Scotland).

Please show your support and sponsor Claire at her Just Giving Page

Last year Claire successfully completed the London Marathon and raised a magnificent amount for our Charity. This years Ultra-Marathon is all the more inspirational because she is recovering from a recent facial injury whilst out training, which has set back her preparations.

Good Luck Claire and Thank You Very Much !!!

New Sponsors for SARDA

 It is a great pleasure to have gained new sponsorship for our dog teams. Dog Food company OSCAR have very kindly continued their sponsorship of National SARDA Dog Teams throughout the UK. This support is gratefully received and all our handlers have experienced attentive and helpful staff from OSCAR.

October Assessment at Glen Finglas, Brig O Turk
Another successful assessment weekend was held in Glen Finglas near Brig O Turk in the Trossachs.

The weather for the weekend was kind to us and we stayed dry. Breeze was unpredictable as ever in the Glen which made for a challenging weekend for all of the dog teams. We stayed at the Callander Backpackers at Invertrossachs Road which is excellent accommodation for the 3 days of Assessment. Our wonderful caterers / volunteer bodies, Joanna, Dawn and Jen kept us well fed!.

Congratulations to Andy & Dugald and Liz & Faelin who attained Advanced Mountain Rescue dog status and Calum & Dochas successfully regraded at Advanced MR team. John (R) & Rowther attained Search Dog Team. John (C) & Tess passed at Grade 2.

Well done all. A big thanks goes out to all who arranged, organised, bodied and assessed, and thanks to our external Assessors Brian and Stephen from SARDA England, who came to oversee and ensure that our assessment standards are up to, and continue to maintain NSARDA criteria.
Darryl and Ruby assist opening of a fundraising / sponsorship deal
Isle of Skye Blended Scotch Whisky company assists Scottish Mountain Rescue

Darryl and his Labrador, Ruby recently featured on the BBC Scotland News at the official opening of a sponsorship partnership between Scottish Mountain Rescue and Isle of Skye Whisky. During the short TV sequence Darryl and Ruby can be seen carrying out a training exercise and searching for a volunteer body. Team representatives from Scottish Mountain Rescue Teams were on hand to chat to TV News reporters welcoming this valuable fund raising sponsorship agreement.

Details of the fund raising opportunity is detailed below (Read More) and at the Isle of Skye Whisky website, follow link below ;

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London Marathon 2013

Claire runs a Marathon for SARDA.


Virgin London Marathon logo

Congratulations to Claire Bremner for her fantastic efforts at the weekend's London Marathon.

So far to date her Just Giving page has had over £ 741.20 in donations. This is a magnificent achievement by Claire and her support of our organisation is greatly valued.

There is a family connection to SARDA (Southern Scotland) as her mother is our Call Out Coordinator, Liz Outram.

Please donate directly to Claire's Just Giving web page ;


Thank you Eukanuba
Our dog teams have been sponsored by Eukanuba since 2005.

The firm provided our search dogs with Dog Food during this time which has been a fantastic contribution to our organisation. It provided the dogs with sustenance and energy to work the hillsides and open rural spaces of Scotland in search for missing and vulnerable people.

Our Association would like to thank Eukanuba for all of their support and help over the past years.

Assessment Weekend April 2013
Another successful weekend at Galloway Forest Park for our dog teams going through the various Assessments. Congratulations to Jenny & Troy for gaining Grade 3 (Mountain Grade). Also to Kenny & Lexi and Alan & Molly (Lowland Grade). The weekend was held in the beautiful Galloway Forest Park and we had external assessors from SARDA England in attendance to assist.


7-10 March 2013


Come and meet our handlers and staff at the Eukanuba display in Hall 3 of this years Crufts Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

A few of the SARDA Dogs will be there to say hello to people visiting the Eukanuba dog food displays.

Eukanuba have proudly sponsored our organisation since 2005 and have supplied dog teams a variety of foods which has helped our members considerably over the years. An excellent product providing the right amount of sustenance and energy for our hard working breeds particularly after several hours of searching in the high mountains of Central and Southern Scotland.

Be Safe in the Mountains !!!

With the sad news of fatalities in the Scottish Mountains over the past few days and weeks can we ask that all hillgoers take safe and sensible precautions.

It would seem that the people that died were all very experienced and prepared. Our deepest sympathies to their family and friends. 

We are, however, still encountering people not equipped for the adverse winter conditions on the mountains.

The Mountaineering Council of Scotland (MCofS) have excellent advice on being safe in the mountains and how to look after yourselves. Please follow this link to their article on Mountain Rescue and how to be self reliant in the mountains ;

Busy Weekend of Training , Assessments and Call Outs

The Association visited Garelochhead Training Camp for a second time for our training weekend 9th & 10th February 2013.

On the Saturday the sessions, overseen by our Training Team - Bill Jennison and Calum Black - saw several of our trainee handlers attaining Graded status with their dogs at (Grade 1 & 2) levels.

Well done to John Romanes & Rowther, Alan McGowan & Molly, John Chroston & Tess and Dave Hall & Islay for enduring the trials and tribulations of a SARDA Assessment.

We also had guest visitors from the dog food company Eukanuba who have proudly supported our organisation since 2005.  

Several hillwalkers out on a Saturday morning walk on The Cobbler near Arrochar also showed great interest, despite the low mist and poor visibilty, having encountered the rest of the SARDA dog teams, training on the lower slopes of the mountain. 

 The Cobbler (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn Artair) 884m (2,900ft).

The weekend also saw several dog teams (Andy & Dugald, Calum & Dochas and Paul & Cairn) responding to 2 separate call outs at Ben Vorlich near Loch Earn and in the Lomond Hills in Fife.  Happily a successful outcome with all parties being found safe and well.

Ben Vorlich (Scottish Gaelic: Beinn Mhùrlaig) 985m (3232ft).

Ben Vorlich from the north


Training at Garelochhead
Our first training session of 2013 was held in the hillside above Garelochhead Training Camp. It was good training for the dog teams after the festivities of the New Year and Christmas. The weather held for us, however an overnight heavy snowfall on Saturday night caused some of the organisation to head to the lowland search areas at Balloch Country Park a few miles away. This was interesting experience for some of the younger dogs carrying out a search of a large woodland park whilst mingling with other members of the public and dog walkers. A thoroughly enjoyable weekend training.
December Training
December Training 2012 based at Crianlarich. Successful and enjoyable sessions on land at Suie / Luib. Weather was reasonable but cold. Thanks to Emma Paterson Auchlyne Estate and Jim Ogston at Innishewan Farm for permission. Stock Test held on Sunday of that weekend at Finlarig in Killin with the help of local shepherd, Andy Higginson.
November's Training 10th & 11th November Pentland Hills / Tweedsmuir
Another great weekend! The weather was on our side, and a good turn out. On Saturday the Graded Dogs went to train on the big and steep hills in Tweedsmuir focussing on finding articles of clothing, the younger dogs went to West Linton. Congratulations to Alan and Molly, Dave and Islay, and John and Tess who all passed their Grade 1 Assessment, well done all! On the Sunday we all went to West Linton and had a successful day training in varied areas with varying wind conditions.
October Assessment at Callander 5th - 7th October 2012
Another successful assessment weekend was held in Glen Finglas. The weather for the weekend was kind to us and we stayed dry, and again we were spoiled by our accommodation hosts and our wonderful caterers, Joanna, Dawn and Jen who kept us well fed! Congratulations to Andy and Dugald who attained GD 3 (Novice) Mountain Dog status, Liz and Faelan who maintained GD 3 (Novice) Mountain Dog Status, and Kenny and Lexi who attained GD 2. Well done all. A big thanks goes out to all who arranged, organised, bodied and assessed, and thanks to our external Assessor Kevin from SARDA England who came to oversee and ensure that our assessment standards are up to, and continue to maintain NSARDA criteria.
Donation from Ayr Dog Agility Club
A big thank you to the Ayr Dog Agility Club for the kind donation of £700 raised from their annual show at Fullerton House in Ayr on the 9th of September. Monies donated will go towards the costly task of kitting our our Dog Teams! Thank you very much!
Lowland Search Dog Assessment 25th Aug 2012
Well Done to Jenny and Troy, and Andy and Dugald ! For passing our first Lowland Search Dog Assessment this weekend. A tough Saturday which was demanding for all took place in a wet Balloch Park. A big thank you goes out to all helped make this possible, to the Training Team, Assessors and not forgetting our wonderful bodies! Also thank you to all who helped with the Mountain Aid Sponsored Walk up Ben Lomond on Sunday, and to all those who attended the walk and raised funds. As soon as we have an amount total from Mountain Aid, I will post it up here on the website!
MOUNTAIN AID Charity Walk Ben Lomond Sun 26th August
Please come and support the Mountain Aid Charity Walk on Sun 26th Aug. Starting at Rowardennan at 09.30hrs. Entry is £10 and lots of goodies are available for all participants, and dong forget to bring your dog! Details can be found on the Mountain Aid website
August Training on Arran 11th & 12th August
11 Handlers and bodies attended a great weekend with even a guest appearance from the sun on Saturday! We stayed at the superb Arran Outdoor Education Centre opposite Holy Isle and Lamlash Bay, stunning views, beautiful accommodation and the catering and hospitality was first class! Saturday's training saw the younger dogs solving problems along the coastline, with the graded dogs doing bigger areas spanning the String Rd. On the Sunday, the younger dogs and pups did some hill work with the areas becoming just a little bit bigger now for the younger dogs in training with technical problems to get the Trainee Handlers thinking about area clearance, and how they work their dogs in the area. The graded dogs went into Glen Rosa and we were supported by 2 members of Arran MRT who kindly gave up a day to come and body for us. A big thank you to all who attended and supported and made the weekend a great success. Next training weekend is September 8th and 9th at Glenclova. Good luck to those attending the Lowland Award Assessment on Sat 25th Aug.
On behalf of all of us at SARDA Southern Scotland, we would like to say a big thank you to all of you that have set up donation pages on the Just Giving website, and to you all for your generousity and kind donations. If we had to rely solely on the grant funding we receive, we would simply not exist, so from us all a very, very big thank you for you support!
Glenshee Training 11th - 13th May
A great weekend and a good turnout saw us staying at the Blackwater Hall and using the 'bowl' area up above the 'Spittal'. On the Saturday the younger dogs were working lower down the hill focussing on find sequences and clearing smaller areas and gullys, while the 'big' dogs went and cleared areas that seemed to get bigger the more we got in to them! Woodland and track clearances were carried out by all of the Dog Teams on the Saturday, and the weather remained kind to us. On the Sunday morning and in changing weather, some of the Handler's carried out some Satmap training and then went back up to the bowl for further training. Thanks to Joanna and Dawn for feeding us like kings, and to the Training Officer and Coordinator for putting the weekend's training in place, and a big thanks as always to our 'bodies' for patiently waiting for our Dogs to find them. On the Saturday night, Certificates were handed out to Bill, Rupert, Jenny, Stephen, and Darryl for passing past assessments (some of them many years ago!), and Andy was presented with a quaich for attending 108 call-outs with Angus, well done boys! See you in June!
Assessment weekend 13th -15th April 2012
The Association held it's Spring Assessment weekend based at the Stronord Outdoor Centre in Dumfries & Galloway. We used the areas above Loch Dee and Clatteringshaws Loch in Craigencallie. The weather was kind, much cooler than last year with a good northerly breeze blowing all weekend, but at least it was dry. Attendance for the weekend was good, and a special thanks goes out to all of our bodies, the lovely ladies that kept us well fed, and the external Assessors for their efforts and for travelling up to assist. Congratulations to Jenny and Troy for achieving Grade 2 Status, Liz and Faelin for re establishing their place on the Call-Out List, and Darryl and Ruby for achieving their Grade 5, Full Search Dog status, well done all!
Search Dog Hero

True Stories of Canine Courage are featured in a book entitled 'Dog Heroes' and published by Summersdale. The story of SARDA Search Dog, Briar, a Golden Labrador from the Island of Arran is also featured in this book. Use this link to purchase your copy;

. Read the story of Briar on Goatfell on the Isle of Arran -

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25th Anniversary - Killin MRT Member killed on Ben More

On 1st February 2012, a Commemoration took place in memory of SGT Harry Lawrie who was killed on Ben More 25 years ago in 1987. The Wessex Military helicopter was conveying team members of Killin Mountain Rescue Team (including SGT Lawrie) onto the summit of Ben More searching for a missing female hillwalker. The Wessex lost control and tumbled down the mountain throwing SGT Harry Lawrie to his death.

Today (01/02/2012) Dog Handler Andy Fleming with Trainee Search Dog, Dugald , joined Killin Mountain Rescue Team members - past and present - on a snow capped Ben Ledi, near Callander, where the plaque and memorial cross remain in place, to pay respects to our fallen colleague. 

Andy (also a member of Killin MRT) is a serving police officer and based at Killin Police Station where SGT Lawrie served the local community and still fondly remembered by local residents to this day.

This incident shows the commitment and dangers that all Mountain Rescue Team members and dog teams have to face on each occasion they respond to call outs with missing people.

 wpe1F0.jpg (14882 bytes)

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Assessment October 2011

Our recent Assessment held at Glen Finglas between 7-9 October 2011 saw a number of dog teams successfully 'Graded'.

Congratulations to Darryl Urquhart-Dixon and his golden Labrador, Ruby, who successfully achieved an upgrade to Grade 4 Dog Team status.

Congratulations also to Andy Fleming and his German Shepherd Dog, Angus, who maintain Grade 5 Dog Team status. 

Andy's other dog, a 1 year old black Labrador, Dugald, was also successful and managed to attain Grade 2 Dog Team. Hopefully Andy & Dugald shall succeed in 6 months time at the next Assessment and move up to Call Out status at Grade 3.  


Gordon - Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme - helps SARDA

Gordon helps train SARDA dogs is thanked by Angus & Dugald

Thanks Gordon can we have our toy back now !!

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West Highland Way 2011 - Well Done Ladies !!!


On 8th May 2011 5 ladies set out on the 96 mile West Highland Way. Over the course of the next 6 days and despite facing horrendous Spring rain storms and the usual painful blisters they successfully completed their epic challenge.  The 5 ladies were trudging this well worn route to raise funds for their 2 chosen charities - SARDA (Southern Scotland) and Arrochar Mountain Rescue Team

 Please support the ladies efforts and give generously to these worthy causes at their JustGiving websites. 

Read More
Well done Darryl and Ruby !

Congratulations to newly qualified dog team Darryl Dixon and his golden labrador Ruby when they qualified to Grade 3  status at the Association's recent April Assessment at Galloway Forest Park in the Scottish Borders.

Congratulations also go to Paul Martin and his black labrador Cairn and Andy Fleming and German Shepherd Dog Angus for also passing at the Assessment.


SARDA Heroes help at road accident

On Sunday 10 April 2011, several of our dog handlers and volunteer bodies found themselves at the scene of a real emergency. The SARDA team members were leaving for home after their Assessment weekend at Galloway Forest Park in the Scottish Borders, when the came across a motorcycle road accident with 2 seriously injured casualties. Both rider and pillion passenger had been hurled from their machine on a series of bends near to Clatteringshaws Dam. Luckily for them one of the first on the scene were experienced nurses and 'casualty care' trained team members from our Association who done an admirable job in tending to the motorcyclists injuries prior to the arrival of ambulance and police. Well done to our local heroes and I'm sure the 2 casualties were very grateful for the care.

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100 plus CALL OUTS

Congratulations to two of our SARDA Handlers - James Coles and Paul Martin.

Both have in excess of 100 call outs with their dogs Cairn, Holly and Corrie.

At our recent December weekend training at Crianlarich both were formally recognised by our Training Officer, Bill Jennison, in a presentation of engraved quaichs.

Well Done ! 


Freddie Graham-Campbell and his friends successfully tackled the 3 highest Peaks in Britain on 5th August 2010 and SARDA benefited from his fantastic fundraising efforts. The event was profiled on his JustGiving page which has recently closed for further donations.

Freddie has managed to achieve 101% of his target and has raised £ 505 !

Well done Freddie !

Thank you from all of your friends at SARDA (Southern Scotland)

Read More

Trefor Davies has been very busy this summer on the Island of Mull. His regular collections throughout the summer months, at FhionnPhort Ferry slipway for visitors to the Isle of Iona, have surpassed all expectations. The kind generosity of the passing tourists have raised a fantastic sum of £ 2381.53

The season has come to a close and this was a particularly poignant time for Trefor with these collections also being made in Memory of his beloved Mountain Rescue Dog - Border Collie, Drift, who died last year after a short illness. 

You can still donate to this fund through our partners at JustGiving

Please follow this link ;


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Bought your XMAS cards yet ?

Why not choose SARDA Charity cards. They can be used for your Christmas Greetings to all of your friends and family and also raise funds for Charity.

Card Collection


We had our October Assessment at the beautiful Glen Finglas near Callander. The weather conditions were kind during the 3 day period 15th - 17th October 2010.  We also had external Assessors from other SARDA Associations from around the UK.

Evening in the glen

Despite a real life overnight search & rescue on Ben Challum, for a missing hillwalker, which drew several dog teams away from the Assessment, the 3 days went extremely well. The hillwalker was found safe and well the following morning.

Well done to all handlers involved.

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Well done to Garry Dodd on successfully completing the Kielder Marathon last weekend.

628th position - time 4 hours 41 minutes

934 participants finished including top class athletes with the winning time of 2 hours and 29 minutes.

A massive effort and achievement by all who took part. Congratulations Garry !!

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GIVING to SARDA - use Self Assessment DONATE

Giving to SARDA through your Self Assessment tax return

If you complete a Self Assessment tax return and are entitled to a tax refund, you can choose to have all or part of the repayment sent directly to charity. This is called ‘Self Assessment Giving’ or ‘SA Donate’. You can also ask that the repayment is made as a Gift Aid donation.

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15 days to go - Kielder Marathon

Kielder Marathon Official Website

Only 15 days to go ! - Garry Dodd's from Hunters Lodge, Gretna shall be pounding the roads around the Kielder Forest for 26 painful miles. Please show your support of Garry's efforts as he is raising money for SARDA (Southern Scotland). Funds can be donated via his JustGiving webpage follow the link below -

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3 PEAKS challenge today

Freddie Graham-Campbell and his friends are tackling the 3 PEAKS today. Please help him reach his fund raising targets. He has reached 71% of his goal of £ 500. It's all in the aid of SARDA (Southern Scotland). Good Luck Freddie !

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Freddie tackles The 3 Peaks for SARDA

Freddie Graham-Campbell has kindly considered SARDA (Southern Scotland) as the main recipient of sponsorship gained from his arduous efforts of tackling The 3 Peaks Challenge in August 2010.

He and a few friends are going to be climbing to the summits of Ben Nevis - 1343m, Scafell Pike - 978m and Snowdon - 1085m.

We would like to thanks Freddie and all his sponsors very much so please support this superb effort from this young man and give generously so that he may reach his targets. Follow the link to the JustGiving page -

 new JustGiving logo

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In Memory of Drift

Trefor Davies and his border collie, Drift, were often seen together on the Isle of Mull. Visitors and tourists to that beautiful island will remember fondly the pair together happily raising funds for our organisation. Sadly after the passing of Drift late last year (2009) a great void has been left. In memory of Drift a Memorial page has been set up on our Just Giving website to run in parallel with Trefor's continued fundraising efforts on Mull along with his trainee search dog, Cass. If you're visiting Mull this year then why not visit Trefor and Cass and make a donation in person if not then show your support and donate here ;


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Donate to SARDA (Southern Scotland) using JustGiving

We’ve teamed up with JustGiving, the UK’s leading online fundraising website, so you can donate and raise funds for us online. See the link below to the JustGiving web page -

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Trefor Davies thanked for his fundraising efforts

At our AGM in April 2010 at Tweedsmuir one of our members, Trefor Davies, was officially recognised for his fundraising efforts on behalf of SARDA (Southern Scotland).

Trefor a well known and respected member of the community at Fhionn Phort on the Island of Mull, is seen regularly throughout the Summer months at the ferry terminals on the island, with collection buckets on hand to help boost our funds. His beloved Mountain Rescue Search dog, Drift was often at his side helping in the cause. Sadly Drift lost her battle against a short illness late last year and died.

Trefor was formally thanked for his great efforts over the past 3 years where he has raised a fantastic £ 5662.38 to help us train Search Dogs.

He was presented with an engraved quaich at our recent Assessment by our Training Officer , Bill Jennison.

If visiting Mull over the coming year you will see Trefor continuing his efforts in raising money, with his dog, Cass, also training hard to achieve Search Dog status. 

Well done Trefor !

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Assessment success for dog teams

Congratulations to Dog Teams 'Liz and Faelin' for passing at Grade 3 and also 'Stephen and Skye' at passing at Grade 4 at our recent Assessment at Tweedsmuir in April

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Congratulations to Rupert and Lewis

At the SARDA Southern Scotland October 2009 Assessment Rupert Bonham and Lewis have successfully graded onto the callout list.

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