The Story of the Solway

shore walks & events

Low-tide Shore-walks

For about 10 years I have had the pleasure of showing groups of people what can be found on the shore in the region of the Allonby Bay Marine Conservation Zone – ranging from the submerged forest (if it’s visible), seaweeds, the patterns of sand ripples, the range of pebbles, and of course the animals that live on or in the shore, on the rocks, and especially the reefs built by the extraordinary honeycomb-worm Sabellaria.

Look!”. I love the way that shore-walkers hold out objects to be admired, and on my Solway Shorewalker blog there is a gallery of hands holding objects found on the tideline, on the sand, on the rocks and in the pools.

A few years ago, Caz Graham of BBC Radio 4’s Open Country joined me for a shore-walk and you can listen to the programme here.


This year there have been no guided walks – and I’ve now decided not to attempt to organise any more until 2021.


November 23rd, 7pm Kendal Mountain Book Festival online,in conversation with Dr David Cooper of MMU’s Centre for Place Writing.

Kendal Mountain Literature festival, with David Cooper

October 4th, 11am: Wigtown Book Festival online, but talking ‘live’ in the studio to Polly Pullar, about The Fresh and the Salt: our chat is on the WBF YouTube channel here.

September 9th, 7.30pm. In conversation with Chris Bridgman of the Kirkgate Theatre, Cockermouth, in association with the New Bookshop, Cockermouth (online event)

September 3rd, 7.30pm. The virtual Launch of The Fresh and the Salt, on Birlinn’s YouTube Premiere channel: readings, 2 videos about Port Carlisle, and Jenny Bell of Pentabus Theatre singing the Mudshrimp’s Song (World premier!). The launch video is here.

April 2020 Pentabus Theatre would have been putting on a play, On One Side Lies the Sea, at Theatre by the Lake, Keswick, much of which was based on conversations with people living along the Cornish and Solway coasts: the Cumbrian haafnetters, and mudshrimps, would have been part of the Solway story. Singer-songwriter Jen Bell even composed a song, The Mudshrimp Song, based on delightful conversations that we had during the preceding months! It features in my online launch, at 17 minutes.

Pentabus programme