DAYS are growing longer and, hopefully, warmer as the area prepares to welcome an influx of tourists for the new season.

There is so much for visitors to enjoy, including the delightful villages and scenery surrounding Morecambe Bay.

But what locals and tourists alike must remember is that the sands themselves are treacherous - with rapid and fast-rising incoming ties, quicksand and shifting channels potentially proving lethal hazards to those tempted to venture out on to them without expert knowledge or a guide.

That danger was highlighted this week when a 70-year-old man was trapped knee deep in mud must three metres from firmer ground on the beach at Far Arnside and had to be rescued by the coastguard.

There have been many tragedies over the years - which adds weight to calls by the Arnside Coastguard for the tide warning siren at Arnside, which has been out of action since March 27, to be repaired as soon as possible.

In 2013, The Westmorland Gazette launched Safety on the Sands, a campaign to heighten awareness of the dangers posed by the sands.

Thousands of posters, produced by the newspaper, were distributed to shops, businesses, guest houses and tourist attractions across South Lakeland and north Lancashire in a bid to save lives. They contained vital information, such as the need to always check tide times, read warning signs around the bay and what to do if someone gets into difficulty.

All that advice is as relevant today as it was then. While no one is trying to put people off visiting, the campaign aims to ensure those who do come enjoy their stay in absolute safety.

Meanwhile, The Westmorland Gazette also wants to pay tribute this week to Cedric Robinson, who has just marked 52 years' service as Queen's Guide to the Morecambe Bay Sands.

Cedric has walked thousands of miles leading walkers safely across the bay and helped local people raise huge sums for charity.

It is fitting that his footprints, cast in a bronze plaque, are to be placed at Cedric Walk at Grange-over-Sands.