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Before taking part in one of our Arenicola mudwalks, you are required to read these regulations in full and to be aware of the risks involved in this activity.

Mudwalking is a lot of fun, but at the same time a physically demanding and potentially risky activity. For this reason Arenicola always uses highly trained and experienced guides. It is important that participants also are aware of the rules and behaviour appropriate to this activity. Ignoring the regulations listed below could endanger your own safety and the safety of other participants. The regulations are also aimed at preserving this unique natural environment. Before embarking on a mudwalk we require each participant to sign a declaration that he or she is aware of all the requirements of this activity as listed below.

Regulations for Participants in an Arenicola Mudwalk

  1. Participation in a mudwalk organized by Arenicola requires accepting all regulations laid down in the Wadloopverordening 1996 as well as in the Arenicola licence and in the following guidelines. Ignoring these regulations means automatic exclusion from participation. There will be no reimbursement of fees or damages incurred under these circumstances.
  2. In the case of participants wishing to do this activity together in a group, one of the group members must provide a complete and accurate list of names of all the participants and hand this over to one of the guides before starting the mudwalk. This person is the group representative and is responsible for informing all other group members sufficiently before the trip of all the rules, necessary equipment and this list of regulations which each participant must read and agree in full.
  3. Participants must be at the agreed meeting place at the arranged time. There can be no waiting for late or delayed participants.
  4. Each person is fully responsible for the risks undertaken by his or her participation in this activity.
  5. Each participant is required to bring the necessary mudwalking equipment and sufficient food and drink for him or herself.
  6. Each participant must be certain that he or she has sufficient physical and mental fitness to complete the mudwalk within the allocated time, given the high physical and mental demands of this activity. Our assumption is that participants are in good health and able to hike 3 or 4 hours at a steady pace. Overweight participants should only attempt mudwalks graded with one star. Participation is at your own risk, see the risks of mudwalking listed below.
  7. Diabetic participants or those with other medical conditions should inform the organisers before undertaking the trip.
  8. An Arenicola guide may decide, before starting a mudwalk, that certain participants cannot proceed due to their level of physical or mental fitness.
  9. If, during the mudwalk, a guide judges the physical or mental fitness of a participant to be insufficient to complete the walk successfully, then the participant may be required to return to the starting point accompanied by an Arenicola guide.
  10. Pets are not permitted on the mudwalk.
  11. Alcoholic drinks are not permitted before or during the mudwalk.
  12. Do not leave litter in any of the nature areas.
  13. Do not pick, cut, uproot or disturb the plants in any way.
  14. Leave nests and eggs of breeding birds undisturbed.
  15. If you for any reason feel unwell during the mudwalk, please inform one of the guides immediately.
  16. Follow the guide's instructions at all times. Participants must remain in their groups during the trip. Dispersal is not permitted to prevent possible damage to the environment.
  17. Only experienced mudwalkers can take part in our trip to Schiermonnikoog.

The Risks of Mudwalking

  1. Mudwalking can only take place in shallow water. Punctuality is important for this reason, as the incoming tide means that there is no margin for delays. The depth of water depends on various factors such as tides, windforce and direction, and high or low pressure regions. The guides know the expected water levels for a trip, but unexpected weather conditions can change the situation completely.
  2. The physical demands of a mudwalk are greater than for an ordinary walk or hike. Walking in wet sand and in water make the going more difficult. The guides know where the mudfields lie, and where best to cross the gullies. The situation on the seabed changes constantly.
  3. If a doctor is urgently needed the guide will contact the coastguard. The quickest method of getting medical help will be determined, e.g. by lifeboat, or more often by helicopter. Since there is no constant helicopter patrol overhead, particularly not during weekends, it may take an hour or more to get medical help when needed. It is important that this risk is understood. Anyone who feels unwilling to take this risk should not participate in a mudwalk. A participant who becomes unwell or unfit to complete the mudwalk endangers not only himself but also the rest of the group. The long wait for a helicopter means that the water level could rise considerably and make it hard to reach the shore.
  4. Low temperature, wind and crossing the gullies can lead to dangerous cooling of the body.
  5. Clear skies can mean very strong sunshine and sunburn. There is no shade in this environment. A cap or damp cloth around the head can prevent overheating or sunstroke.