Have you heard of Park Lives?
Park Lives is an initiative from Nottingham City Council in partnership with Coca-Cola Great Britain offering a host of free activities across 16 of the city’s parks during the summer and beyond. It is part of Coca-Cola Great Britain’s commitment to invest £20m between now and 2020 in programmes to encourage and support people to be physically active. It is also in five other cities across the UK – Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester, Newcastle and Newham, London.
Activities include Yoga and Tai Chi at Woolaton Park, Reggae Aerobics at Forest Recreation Ground and Boot Camp at Bulwell Forest Park plus many more and they are running until at least the end of September!
Last week we went along to the Canoe Rafting activity, held at Colwick Country Park. After a brilliant summer spent on the water in Rhodes the boys really fancied themselves as sailors so this seemed like perfect fit!
You simply book all of your party onto the session via the website. I did find this a bit tricky as you have to have a separate email address for everyone and so the children had to use one of mine. Overall the booking process is relatively simple though and you receive email confirmation to secure your place!
I have never been to Colwick Country Park before but it is a really beautiful, serene location and their Adventure Centre is set up for some really fun activities. The Lake is actually a carp fishing Lake but for today’s purposes it was for some canoe fun!
We were greeted by the friendly, helpful staff and given an overview of what we would be doing on the activity. The water in the lake had recently been tested and there was blue algae present so this meant that we weren’t able to swim in the it (which was fine by me).
First up was the all important safety rules and we all given a light jacket to put on (as it can be chilly on the lake) and a life jacket.
Next we had to build out rafts! The boys were shown how to tie two canoes together using planks of wood and rope. The first one was done for us but then we were left to show we had paid attention! The kids loved learning about how to tie a reef knot and make sure that everything is fastened correctly! Luckily it didn’t fall apart when we lifted it down the ramp to the Lake. So far, so good!
We were then all armed with a paddle and off we set! It was a perfect day and lovely and calm out on the Lake. The instructor was brilliant in making sure we were all paddling correctly and in time with each other. The kids were questioned on how they thought we could turn the raft and how we could do an emergency stop which got them thinking. It was really good fun!
Next up we played a few games in the boat that involved jumping up and down lots in the boat and throwing out paddles into the Lake to see if they could get muddy by touching the bottom. The boys loved this!
The session ran for about an hour. On the way back the instructor spotted a heron and also told us about some terrapins that live in the Lake. It was all very educational and interesting but in an entertaining and engaging way. We had a fantastic afternoon and it was all free!
Colwick Country Park is a great place to visit. It takes around 20 minutes to walk around the Lake and there is a playground. It also offers some fantastic adventure facilities for groups such as highropes, mountain biking and orienteering and would make a great place to hold a birthday party.
Check out if you have a Park Lives near you and let me know what you got up to!
Thank you to Kerry for loaning me her phone as I had forgotten to bring mine!