A PENSIONER who fell into a ravine at a Flintshire landmark has been left with bearable injuries thanks to "phenomenal" voluntary emergency services, her family said.

Pat Lewis, originally of Connah’s Quay, celebrated her 80th birthday at the Countess of Chester Hospital yesterday with four broken ribs, after falling down a steep bank at Wepre Park woods on Saturday evening.

Mrs Lewis’ daughter George Shute and son Mike Lewis have hailed North East Wales Search and Rescue (NEWSAR), as well as the local community, police, and fellow dog-walkers, as heroes following the traumatic ordeal.

Both said they believe the quick recovery and lack of life-threatening injury was due to the "amazing" work of NEWSAR, as well as their mother’s fitness as the head of a walking group based in Anglesey, where Mrs Lewis now lives.

The siblings were overwhelmed when "more than 20" NEWSAR members rushed to the scene of the accident.

Mrs Shute, who was with her mother when she fell into the steep ditch in Wepre Park, said it has been a "week from hell."

Mrs Shute was glad of her mother’s visit on Saturday following the death of her husband, Gary Shute, last week.

The pair had taken Mrs Shute’s dogs to Wepre Park at around tea-time on Saturday. Mrs Lewis had only recently returned from a walking holiday in the Peak District with her Llangffo-based walking group, where they had covered nine miles of trail.

Son Mike Lewis said: "My phone rang with some random number on Saturday, and the voice said, 'I’m with your sister – your mum had a fall in Wepre Woods and she is at the bottom of a ravine.'

"The area was called Red Rock, with big rocks jetting out, and it’s a big slope with big boulders coming out if it which is where she must have broken her ribs.

"If it had happened 10 metres along mum would’ve been in the water – if she had that would’ve been a lot more serious."

Mrs Shute said: "I saw her go. She did a forward-roll trying to get me some rocks and I kept saying, 'Mum I don’t need any, I have enough rocks.'

"She hit a tree and I was just in shock, she was groaning. I told her to not move, and that I was going to get help as neither of us had our phone on us.

"I phoned the ambulance, and within about half-an-hour, two paramedics came. I was on the phone for only about 30 minutes while they were working out what they needed.

"They told us it was beyond their scope and that they would need Mountain Rescue."

The pair said they were then shocked to witness more than 20 NEWSAR volunteers turn up, with the "phenomenal" direction of their head volunteer who organised the rescue.

Mr Lewis said: "It was a Saturday night but they all turned up to help – one had just stepped into a bath and another had just had two jacket potatoes."

Mrs Shute said she was also bawled over by the direction and assertiveness of the young man in the lead. She said taking care of her mother would have been impossible without the help of two young walkers from the area who offered help, and “took the dogs off my hands which was a massive weight off my "shoulders."

Mr Lewis said: “The community pulled together. A normal 80-year-old would've broken more bones, but mum must be made of titanium. Thank God she walks a lot and that she looks after herself.

"We want to say thank you to NEWSAR – not just a thank you but a phenomenal thank you."

Mrs Shute said: "When mum was on the ground she kept saying how she donates to NEWSAR and the RNLI. One volunteer said how its come around well for her. She is clearly made of strong stuff."

A spokesman for NEWSAR confirmed a call was received at about 8.15pm on Saturday evening reporting that a casualty had fallen down a steep bank at Wepre Woods and sustained injuries which prevented them from getting out.

A spokesman said: "We stretchered them to our vehicle and then to an ambulance. We wish the casualty a speedy recovery."