The seaside isn’t just a daytrip destination, it’s a great British institution: shielding ice creams from seagulls, getting wet sand in your shoes and feeding countless two-pence coins into amusement arcade penny slots is part and parcel of growing up on this fair isle. But plastic buckets and spades aside, the British coast is a thriving ecological wonderland and a day spent pottering around by the sea can teach kids valuable lessons about nature and the world they live in. Here are five ideas to fuel their imaginations.
Tidepools are teeming with life, and depending on your location you could expect to see anemones, crabs, mussels, tiny fish and even octopi. Take a field guide so you can identify your findings, scout out a tidepool during low tide and prepare to get up close and personal with these amazing little creatures. But tread lightly, as coastal habitats can be delicate.
More secluded coastal regions (away from the hustle and bustle of sunseekers and holidaymakers) are home to an amazing array of British birds – it’s not all about seagulls! Pack a picnic and a pair of binoculars, and see how many interesting feathery friends you can spot.
The beach is home to a spectacular array of natural art materials – shells, seaweed, driftwood, not to mention the manmade trinkets that wash up on the shore (pieces of Lego are still washing up on Britain’s beaches nearly 17 years after a container ship dropped its cargo in 1997!). Challenge your kids to create an arty mural in the sand with the bounty they collect, and take the opportunity to highlight how rubbish and plastic items are bad for the coastal environment.
Great fun for kids and surprisingly addictive for adults, too, is there a more British seaside activity than crabbing? It’s cheap and easy (here’s a great how-to guide) and provides a fantastic glimpse into the fascinating goings-on of underwater life. Plus, kids will learn a valuable lesson about conservation when their captured crusties scuttle back into the sea.
The sea can be a bewildering concept for little ones – just what exactly makes the tide lap against the sand? And why does the sea seem to move throughout the day? If you can, arrive during the morning’s low tide and plan to stay long enough for your kids to see it slowly creeping up the beach. Use simple language to explain the role of the moon and gravity in tidal changes, let them play ‘tag’ with the waves and use markers made of sticks to track the sea’s progress.
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1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount. All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas). All rates correct as of 23/08/16, but may go up or down.
3Pay Monthly Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYM OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location.
We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.
33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.
3% interest: Calculated at 3% per year, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply: http://www.ovoenergy.com/terms/
95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Based on all new customer signups between 01/02/2016 and 31/07/2016
94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.
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