A NEW report has revealed that - despite the horrendous floods that devastated parts of Cumbria in late 2015 - tourism figures have actually risen sharply since then.

More than two million more visitors have come to the county and the Lake District in 2016 than in the previous year, partly due to the weak pound and rising awareness internationally of the area.

That’s good news, of course, for local businesses and the economy and not just for the heartland Lakes.


While many may be drawn by the ‘honeypot’ locations - Bowness, Ambleside, Keswick - increasing numbers will also visit outer-lying areas such as the Eden Valley and Morecambe Bay, particularly as agencies in those patches do more to market them to potential tourists.

Morecambe Bay is glorious - a beautiful sweep of sand, mud and water, full of birdlife and with the Lake District fells as a magnificent backdrop.

But its sands are also treacherous, as demonstrated once again this week with a series of potentially life-threatening incidents.

On Bank Holiday Monday four people were rescued after getting stuck in quick sand on the foreshore at Arnside. One woman was trapped up to her waist as the tide began to sweep in.

In other incidents, people were trapped in cars on the sands near Warton and there were also callouts to other people who were cut off by the tide at Carnforth.

Thankfully all were rescued thanks to the brilliant efforts of bodies like the coastguard, RNLI and Bay Search and Rescue.

The bay was also in the spotlight this week with Coronation Street’s dramatic storyline, in which Nick Tilsley gets trapped in quick sand as the tide rises around him.

It all goes to highlight the importance of taking extreme care in the area. That is why the Gazette recently relaunched its Safety on the Sands campaign.

It aims to raise awareness of the dangers that the shifting sands of Morecambe Bay can pose. It urges people to check tide timetables, not to ignore the high tide warning siren and to call the coastguard if they see someone they believe to be in danger.

Once again we would encourage all locals and visitors to remember that the beautiful bay potentially can be lethal.