QUICKSAND and unpredictable tides would usually be enough to put most walking enthusiasts off.
But not Silhillian Hazel Jonas, and her Nordic walking group, which is preparing to journey across the perilous terrain of Morecambe Bay in aid of Warwickshire Wildlife Trust (WWT).
The Nordic walkers – who use poles to strengthen the upper body and enhance fitness – will be lead across the sands by Cedric Robinson MBE on September 30.
The royally appointed guide has been leading walkers across the bay for more than 50 years and will help ensure the group’s safety.
Morecambe Bay, with its lethal combination of powerful tides and shifting sands, is notorious for quicksand which occurs when water saturates sand, causing it to cave in. And many attempts to cross the sands at low tide have ended in tragedy.
But the team – which regularly enjoys expeditions around idyllic locations including the Cotswolds, Clent and Warwickshire – is nevertheless looking forward to the excursion.
Nordic walking coach Hazel said: “There are very few opportunities to walk across the sands and it seemed an interesting way to raise money. One thing we can sure of is that we will get wet! Depending on the tide, we may need to walk in water waist high. The distance is eight miles but this is on sand, through eddies and marsh land, so much harder than walking across fields.”
Hazel runs classes in the grounds of Packwood House and and for Coventry Council as part of its Be Active scheme.
An expert in night navigation, she also takes groups on nightly walks around Earlswood Lakes and Clowed Wood Nature Reserve, managed by WWT.
The walkers have a minimum target of £1,000 to raise for the trust as a way of saying thank you for allowing them to use the woodland during their nightly sessions.
The former mountain leader added: “A major element of our Nordic walks is the social aspect. Over time, people become good friends so the social element is as important as the physical exercise. Whether on a Thursday night in Earlswood or on our social walks, we always ensure that the walks finish at a café or pub. The social element was a decisive factor in our fundraising weekend for Morecambe Bay.”
Email [email protected] for more information on the excursion which still has places left, leaving from Coventry and Solihull.
Search Nordic Walk Now on Facebook for more information on the group.