Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue – appeal for new premises

Chris Curry
Author's position
Chair of Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue
Can you help Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue find a permanent Base of Operations?

You will have heard of the RNLI, Mountain Rescue and possibly Cave Rescue. Lowland Rescue forms part of the fourth element within the UK Search and Rescue family, covering all the areas between Hill and High Water.

We are Berkshire Lowland Search and Rescue (BLSAR), a registered charity, composed of volunteers, and one of the 34 Lowland Rescue teams who provide specialist Search and Rescue services to the emergency services across the UK. We are the oldest Lowland Rescue team and have been providing services to the people of Berkshire since 1980.

Someone is reported missing every 90 seconds in the UK

There are 353,000 reported missing incidents every year (figures from The primary role of the team is to assist Thames Valley Police in the search for high risk missing vulnerable persons, such as children and the elderly, in Berkshire and the surrounding counties. Our services are free, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. In addition, we provide civil contingency support for the local authorities and the statutory emergency services and have been very active in the Covid-19 pandemic vaccination program.

Appeal for new premises

For the majority of our existence our Base of Operations was in council-owned premises in Wokingham. However, we lost that facility when the property was sold and have been in temporary facilities where our tenancy is coming to an end. We are in desperate need of a permanent Base of Operations – somewhere where we can store our vehicles and equipment and train our members. Ideally we are looking for a centrally located space within the Bracknell, Wokingham or East Reading areas.

How you might be able to help us

Do you have a space or building that you could offer us with 24/7 access?

  • Option 1: A secure building that could accommodate a large training room, mess room, kitchen, equipment storage etc. This might be a warehouse, farm building or workshop/garage. Ideally, we would be looking for around 8000 sqft in total with 3,000 sqft internal space. The outside area needs to hold x4 vans and x1 boat trailer.
  • Option 2: An area where we can store the vehicles and kit only. For this we would need around 5000 sqft external and 2000 sqft internal.
If you cannot help us with building facilities, could you help financially in some way?

BLSAR is entirely paid for by its own fundraising efforts, local community events, grants and donations. It takes around £20,000 a year to keep us operational. Every penny raised/donated goes towards saving lives in Berkshire and the Thames Valley.

If you can help us in any way, please email the

Thank you for taking the time to read this.