This year's Cross Bay Walk takes place Saturday July 13. In this annual charity event scores of walkers are guided across the treacherous sands of Morecambe Bay at low tide, as a unique fundraiser for the local Bay Search and Rescue Team.
'...wading across a seemingly endless plain, with a vast horizon'
The walk from Arnside across to Kents Bank Station near Grange over Sands is led by Cedric Robinson, the official Queens Guide to the Sands [who knew? Ed.]. The day's length varies between 6-8 miles depending on the precise route he picks through the shifting channels and quicksand of this notorious expanse of tidal flats.
'A Cross Morecambe Bay Walk is unique in many ways' explains Paul Calland of the Bay Search and Rescue Team.
'[There's] the excitement of walking and wading across a seemingly endless plain, with a vast horizon, knowing that in just a few hours it will be under feet of water, and all the way with a totally different angle of view of the backdrop panorama of the Lake District mountains.'
Participants can enjoy the day, while helping to raise vital cash for the local rescue team. The 310km2 of Morecambe Bay is their patch, the largest expanse of intertidal mudflats and sand in the United Kingdom. It can hard to reach people trapped out there by boat, so the team uses an all-terrain, amphibious Hagglund tracked vehicle. The specialist kit doesn't come cheap, and the team is a charity reliant on donations.
Walkers can register for the event here for a modest £10 (£5 kids), and get a link to a downloadable sponsor form and their own unique online fundraising page (and even a smartphone app).
'Please remember you are registering for a sponsored walk' says the team's website, 'and as this is our main fundraising event each year we appreciate all your help raising whatever you can, no matter how small.'
A few non-sponsored walkers are allowed too, though the team suggest they make a separate small donation of their own after registering.
Groups are welcome - as are well bahaved dogs. Since there are a number of channels to cross, participants should expect to get wet up to at least the knees, say organisers. They also point out that the route isn't suited to prams or buggies - it's happened, apparently.
The walk starts at 9.00am from Arnside and takes at least 3-4 hours. For more info see the Bay Search and Rescue Team website.