THE Met Office has issued a cold-weather warning after snow fell across much of Scotland yesterday — but the cold snap has delighted staff at the country’s oldest ski centre.

The Met Office issued an ice warning last night and public health officials said people should take precautions as temperatures look set to drop further.

By yesterday afternoon around 20cm of snow had fallen at the Glen Coe ski centre and more was forecast to fall overnight.

Ski centre boss Any Meldrum, who saw the worst ski season ever recorded at the Glencoe Mountain Resort last year, said: “Things are beginning to look really good for a nice early start to the season.

“Lots more snow is forecast over the next few days so staff are busy gearing up to get the lifts running.”

The Met Office weather warning, which runs until 10am today, was issued for Northern Ireland, parts of Scotland and Wales, the north of England, Yorkshire and the West Midlands.

The forecaster warned of sleet, snow and icy patches on untreated surfaces as temperatures fall.

Paul Gundersen, chief operational meteorologist at the Met Office, said: “Colder air has now reached most parts, with temperatures expected to fall further by Saturday [today], when the cold will be accentuated by strengthening winds.”

Earlier a walker had to be rescued in dark and snowy conditions after becoming lost and disorientated on a trip into the Dumfries and Galloway hills.

The man raised the alarm after losing his way as he tried to reach a remote bothy above Bentpath, near Langholm.

A search was launched involving more than 20 members of Moffat Mountain Rescue Team, a Police Scotland mountain rescue team from Glasgow and a search and rescue helicopter from Caernarfon in Wales. It was only after the help of a local shepherd was enlisted that the missing person was found.

The walker managed to locate a remote communications mast to wait beside but it was not clear where this was, and the rescue effort was hampered by heavy snow showers.

The shepherd, who knew the area closely, helped rescuers review possible search areas and he led them to a remote forest track where the missing walker’s car was found.

After six hours’ searching, Moffat Mountain Rescue Team then found him and were able to bring him safely off the hill.

He was said to be very cold but otherwise well when he was found.