O is for . . .

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The benefits of green spaces on our health and wellbeing is widely known and accepted to be true. But what about blue spaces? These are spaces near water, like lakes, rivers and of course the sea! In Devon we are lucky to be surrounded by ocean, never more than a relatively short journey from fresh salt air and the roar of the waves. So today we’re diving into the blue. Come on in, the waters… well, freezing actually, but it’s still glorious.

Meet Olly

We’re starting things off today with Olly from the Oceanarium in Bournemouth, who has kindly recorded this fascinating little video for us, highlighting some of his favourite creatures in their collection.

Side note: we’ve found the jellyfish utterly mesmerising. What do you think – jellyfish meditation? New fad? It started here, folks.

Let’s get cleaning

As Olly explained in his video above, it’s up to each and every one of us to look after our oceans and the creatures that live there, and beach cleaning is a great way to get involved with that. We appreciate that, unless you live very close to the sea, this is a tricky thing to get involved with during lockdown. But once lockdown eases, this could be a great activity to take part in, getting you out into the fresh salt air, doing some exercise and helping the environment all in one go – what’s not to love about that?

Ocean Recovery Project

The 2 Minute Foundation is a brilliant charity, showing the impact that taking just few moments of our time can have. Take a look at the map on their website Beach Clean Map to find out where your nearest 2 minute station is to take part in a #2minutebeachclean, #2minutelitterpick or a #2minutestreetclean.

Another brilliant resource is The Ocean Recovery Project, an initiative that has recently been nominated for the National Recycling Awards 2020. Find out more about the project here.

Jenny Bess Zepjlrd8Hfq Unsplash

Oh my, that’s chilly!

Wild water swimming – it’s cold, but brilliant. If you haven’t heard of it before, it pretty much does what it says on the tin; it’s just swimming outdoors in the wild, whether this be in a lake, river, pond or in the big blue sea.

As well as being great exercise, there are numerous other benefits to wild water swimming. Firstly, there have been studies that suggest that it’s great for our mental health (although whether this is down to being outdoors, the exercise element, having time to yourself or taking part in wild swimming as social activity researchers haven’t concluded yet).

There are also studies that suggest the simple act of immersing ourselves in cold water (this is called Cold Water Immersion Therapy) has plenty of health benefits by itself. These include improving your circulation, deepening your sleep, spiking your energy levels, and reducing inflammation in your body. Just ask extreme athlete Wim Hof

If you’re interested in starting Wild Water Swimming, check out www.wildswimming.co.uk – they have plenty of tips about getting started - www.wildswimming - beginners staying safe - www.wildswimming - staying safe and even where to find wild swimming spots in Devon- www.wildswimming - Dartmoor

You know what they say about one man’s trash…

Artist Rob Arnold spent most of the first lockdown sifting plastic from sacks of litter from his local beach, extracting 50 million plastic pellets, 200 car tyre dust caps, 300 Lego flippers, and several buckets of cotton bud sticks, among plenty of other rubbish. But he’s using this trash and turning it into treasure, creating artwork from it to educate and raise awareness around environmental issues.

And you can see more of the awesome artwork Rob has created on his Instagram account @rob.arnold.art

If you like the idea of turning your own trash into treasure, take a look at our blog post for 'A is for Art', where you’ll find fun art projects from Darrell Wakelam doing just that!

Hello? This is the ocean calling

Coming soon and available now . . . here we have some brilliant book recommendations from our Stock Manager, Mark West. Answer the call of the big, wide blue with these reading suggestions for children and adults... Click on the book cover to see if we have it available.

Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird
Song of the Dolphin Boy by Elizabeth Laird

The Storm Whale by Benji Davies
The Storm Whale by Benji Davies

Can You Protect the Coral Reefs? by Michael Burgan
Can You Protect the Coral Reefs? by Michael Burgan

Into the Blue by Nicola Davies
Into the Blue by Nicola Davies