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Top 5 things to do by the water in Summer

10 August 2021

Summer, the prime time to be outside and on the water (when the British weather is behaving itself.) Sometimes we can take advantage of the world around us and forget about the importance of fresh air and vitamin D.

Here’s 5 fantastic activities you can try this Summer, on or near to your boat or marina. Why not try something new and get  reconnected with nature?

1.    Paddleboarding is a great activity on the water

An ancient way to get around the waters that potentially dates back to 3000 BC, Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) was introduced as its modern form from Hawaii in the 1900’s. SUP has had a significant uprising in recent years – you can hire paddleboards from most seafronts, rivers & bodies of water across the UK these days. Hire a paddleboard (or kayak) from Go-Paddle at our very own Hartford Marina, or the Oulton Broad Water Sports Centre next to Broadlands Marina.

Don’t fancy paddleboarding? There’s plenty of other watersports to try like the previously mentioned kayaking, canoeing, surfing. You could even track down an inflatable aqua park!

2.    Gardening for your boat

From rooftop gardening on a narrowboat, to growing greens on a cruiser; there’s plenty of options to keep plants healthy and stable aboard your boat.

Try pots on non-skid mats, or cords/ropes to secure your planters. Keep to plastic to avoid the risk of glass or ceramic breaking onboard. Your plants will be more subject to the elements so keep an eye on water levels – the rain might be doing too much, or not enough. Marine water should be fine for your flowers, but keep it away from any vegetable/edible plants to prevent parasites. Give the leaves a rinse if they’re subject to sea spray, as the salt levels may disrupt your plants.

3.    Photograph the world around you at your marina

What better time of year is there to start (or reignite) a passion for photography.

Birds, butterflies, bees and flowers. Landscapes, waterscapes, sunrise and sunset. Take advantage of those long daylight hours and get snapping. There’s plenty of affordable camera options, if you don’t already have a fantastic camera on a high tech smartphone. Check online for lots of tips, tricks and photography blogs, or find inspiration on PinterestFlickr or plenty of websites and magazines dedicated to capturing the world around us.

4.    What could you find pond dipping in your marina?

A fun activity for children and adults alike, give pond dipping a go this summer. Take a look under the water and see what you can find.

Buy or make some nets, get a tray (ideally white) for assessing your finds, a spoon or pot to look a bit closer and a guide to know what you’re looking for. Be sure to be careful and safely return everything you’ve found. The RSPBWildfowl & Wetlands TrustNHBS and Woodland Trust all have great resources of how to go about connecting with nature and finding creatures to observe.

5.    ‘appy in nature – discover the wildlife around your marina

The UK has its fair share of native and visiting wildlife during the summer months and there’s a variety of ways in which you can track which wildlife you see on your travels.

  • Swifts are constantly in flight (unless they’re nesting). They travel to the UK in the early summer months until they return to Africa around 12 weeks later. Head to Swift Mapper to track where you see nesting swifts so their sites can be protected.
  • Bees are an essential part of our ecosystem; based on your experience, you can track bees with Friends of the Earth to add data on any bees you see and the conditions around them.
  • If you want to see what you can hunt down wherever you are, download the Nature Finder app. Made by the Wildlife Trust, it shows all their sites across the UK and which wildlife you can expect to find at each location.

This article features in our Tingdene Life marina magazine.

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