Warning after after group strays onto island mudflats

Graham Booth on the Holy Island causeway.
Graham Booth on the Holy Island causeway.

A warning has been issued about the dangers of the Holy Island mudflats after children wandered there last week.

The incident happened after a church group, believed to be from Newcastle, and comprising a mix of youngsters and adults, went off to explore the area.

The Holy Island coastgaurd was scrambled to move the group on.

Crew member Colin Teago said: “It could have been dangerous. They shouldn’t have been there.

“I think they thought it was the seaside and they were a bit ignorant. But it is not the seaside. This is salt marshes, mudflats and quicksand.

“The point is, if they were on a school trip, doing scientific studies, then fine, they would have got clearing from Natural England.

“But these were wee little kids, about eight, nine and 10 years old, in shorts and T-shirts, and they hadn’t been cleared at all and they were in the centre of the mudflats.”

The coastguards sprang into action following a call from island resident Graham Booth, who had spotted the group walking towards the mudflats.

“I was really quite concerned,” he said. “I lead a few walks around the island and they were heading in a direction I would never go. It isn’t any old place. There are mudflats, salt marshes and the tide comes in quickly.”

He said it was important for people to seek local advice.