Walk Safe on the Shore
In the article I’ll tell you about how to Walk Safe on the Shore. Walking is, by its nature, a safe activity. For most of us, the only dangers are motorists, big dogs and drunks on a Saturday night. But if you walk in the country you need to be aware that there are dangers out there. In this article I shall deal with coastal walking and in the next hill walking. On the coast the real dangers are falling over cliffs and being trapped by the tide. Should you fall over a cliff and then find yourself trapped by the tide you are naturally accident prone and should probably have stayed at home anyway. However most walking accidents can be avoided.
Falling off cliffs only happens to the more adventurous and the answer is to stay away from the edge. Be aware that shale cliffs and to a lesser extent chalk cliffs are eroding away all the time and this can make the edges dangerous. But the sea is the biggest danger.
When walking on the beach or the mudflats you must always check behind you as well as admiring the sea in front in front of you. In a bay with cliffs take note of where the path you took to the beach is situated. If you walk round a headland when the tide is low check if there is another path to safety. If not make sure you can get back again when the tide turns. Give yourself plenty of time, the tide can move quickly. All this is fairly obvious and not many people get into trouble around headlands and bays.
The real danger is walking on the sand and mudflats of estuaries. The sea goes out a long way, nearly a mile perhaps, and when the tide turns it can move at walking pace. But at low tide an estuary is a beautiful place with miles of sand and mudflats where your dog can chase seagulls and you can walk in the sunshine all the way to the sea. You splash across a few shallow streams and head out to meet the tide, it’s lovely in the warm breeze.
Then, after a while you notice the water is moving inshore rather fast. No matter, it’s only a few inches deep – plenty of time to walk back to shore. You reach the stream you splashed across on your way out. It is now deep, very deep and very wide and you are in big trouble. With any luck you will be able to wade or swim across. But you will need luck and luck should never be relied upon.
So always, always look behind you when you are on the coast. It is a wonderful place to walk, but every year people die for want of simple safety precautions. Be prepared and walk safe.
Fitness walking is a vast subject and if you mean to take it seriously there is one book which tells you all you need to know. Fitness Walking for Dummies by Liz Neporent is one of the famous For Dummies series. It will help you enormously and be your favourite book of reference for evermore. Do read it.