The Coastal Code

The coast of Morecambe Bay is a wonderful place to be. It is the biggest intertidal area in the UK, which means the coast is HUGE. From sand dunes to salt marshes, seaside towns to nature reserves, there is lots to explore on the shores of the Bay.

It is essential, however, to remember that we share the coast with businesses, wildlife and locals, so it is essential that our activities do not have a negative effect on coastal communities. The best way to ensure this, is to encourage everyone to follow a voluntary code of conduct, approved by coastal users from around Morecambe Bay.

Below you will see a basic code of conduct which should be followed by all coastal users. 

By following these guidelines we can all enjoy the coast together! 

Respect, Protect, Enjoy.

Morecambe Bay is not only valued by the people who live and work here, and by the many visitors, but it is also internationally important for wildlife. By following the Morecambe Bay Coastal Code you can help protect the wildlife and wild places of this special place.


  1. Keep your distance around coastal wildlife. Morecambe Bay is a very special place for wildlife, especially birds. It is one of the best places in the UK to see breeding or migrating shorebirds, and has many international designations which recognise its importance, including Site of Special Scientific Importance (SSSI).
    • Respect the birds by not getting too close to them when they are feeding or resting.
    • Protect the birds by reducing their need to take flight, which uses up their limited energy reserves, which they may need to survive the winter or travel hundreds of miles during migration.
    • Enjoy the birds by visiting one of Morecambe Bay’s many nature reserves or grabbing a pair of binoculars and watching from a distance.

  1. Consider other users. The Bay is a busy place, shared by farmers, holidaymakers, local residents and businesses. People rely on Morecambe Bay for their livelihood, recreation or simply for enjoyment of the great outdoors.
    • Respect the local community, by following instructions on signs, leaving gates and property as you find them and following paths. Remember to maintain social distance and give way to others where the path is narrow.
    • Protect people’s safety and wellbeing by keeping dogs on leads around other visitors, dogs, wildlife and livestock.
    • Enjoy the diversity of Morecambe Bay by following established footpaths and routes. The England Coast Path, due to open in 2020, will provide a safe route along the entire coast for walkers to enjoy. Whilst most beaches are available for use by the public some areas of foreshore and marsh are privately owned. Please read local information signs for further details.

Photo credit: Mel Elias via unsplash

  1. Stay safe. The tide comes in very fast in Morecambe Bay. It’s easy to get cut off or stuck in sinking sand if you aren’t aware of the tides.    
    • Respect the dangers of Morecambe Bay by planning ahead - check tide times before you visit (try or download a smartphone app for tide tables) and never try to cross deep channels without expert guidance. It’s easy to get disorientated by the shifting sands, so make sure you know where are at all times.
    • Protect yourself and your party by only accessing the sands on a receding tide, always being aware of the time and planning where and when you will exit the beach.
    • Enjoy the dynamic landscape of the Bay safely from viewpoints or above the high tide line. 

Photo credit: Nigel Hunter

  1. Be environmentally friendly. Morecambe Bay is a beautiful environment to discover and enjoy, and it’s important that visitors leave no trace of their visits. Litter, fires and removal of plants or rocks make the Bay look untidy, and can destroy sensitive wildlife and habitats.
    • Respect the environment by leaving no trace of your visit. Take your litter home, don’t pick flowers or take anything away with you. Fires are not allowed without landowner permission, and disposable barbecues must be raised off the ground and never left unattended. Balloons, fireworks and Chinese lanterns leave behind harmful litter which causes harm to people, dogs and wildlife. Please do not release them.
    • Protect wildlife by keeping to paths and keeping dogs on a lead near wildlife. If you can, why not pick up some litter as you're leaving the beach? Plastic breaks down in smaller and smaller fragments over time, so by picking up that empty bottle, you're saving millions of microplastics entering the marine ecosystem. Every little helps! 
    • Enjoy the natural wonders of the Bay. There are many information signs that tell you what is special around you and how to protect it, and there really is lots to discover!  

  1. Follow the Countryside Code.
    • There's lots of room for everyone to enjoy our beautiful coastal countryside! By following these easy guidelines we can keep Morecambe Bay beautiful!