Plan Ahead and Prepare – for the beach in good weather
The summer is finally here, so in this article we’re running through some of our top tips for when we’re going to the beach in good weather. These are all things we can do before we ever leave the house, making sure that we both enjoy our time outdoors, and are safe while doing it!
1. Check the Weather / Temperatures – avoiding hottest times of the day
It’s important to know what kind of day you’re heading out into, so check your local weather forecast.
While the sun is at its highest at noon, the heat can continue to build up from there, making 3pm the usual hottest time on sunny days.
Find your local Irish weather forecast on met.ie
2. Be #SunSmart
Follow the 5 S’s of the Sun Smart code from the HSE and Healthy Ireland.
3. Bring Plenty of Water
Did you know that in Ireland, it’s recommended that women drink about 1.6 litres, and men about 2 litres of water per day.
However, we need to drink more if exercising or if it’s hot – when we’re sweating more, it’s easier to become dehydrated.Check how many people you’re heading out with, how long you’ll be away for, and plan your water accordingly.
4. Check in Advance if Dogs are Allowed
It’s always important to check if your dog is allowed access to wherever your adventuring – especially on blue beaches where there are restrictions. Some beaches in Ireland have introduced seasonal restrictions on domesticated animals to protect water quality and beach users’ health from animal fouling.
The restrictions on the blue flag beaches will mean no dog walking or horse trekking will be allowed between 11am and 7pm during the bathing season which runs from 1 June until 15 September. As this is new legislation, and varies between counties and beaches, it is important to look up the beach and area you’re planning on visiting before you go. Learn more on beachawards.ie.
5. Stay Off the Dunes
Our Sand Dunes are amazing – they provide natural protection from storms and coastal flooding, while also being vast ecosystems.
However, they are also incredibly fragile, and need our protection. When visiting our beaches, check if there are designated routes and trails through the area that will help protect our sand dunes. See our video below on the importance of these habitats:
6. Avoid litter & waste with Zero Waste Lunches
One way to avoid all litter and waste is to bring none of it with you!
A really handy preparation tip for the beach is to plan out your food beforehand, remove all disposable packaging, and bring your food in reusable containers that you’ll bring home again. This way there’s no chance of an unexpected gust of wind stealing a piece of loose plastic, or people accidentally forgetting bits of rubbish behind.
It’s also important that all food waste is brought home with us too. While wild animals might like to eat our food, their stomachs are not designed to process human food, and it can make them sick. We never want to leave behind foods that might contaminate or change the ecosystem.
7. Tidal Times
Sometimes, different parts of the coast are accessible when the tide is in or out.
Check the tide times for the beach your heading to so you don’t get caught unawares. It is vitally important we know what are tides and currents, and how they work. To learn about tides, read this guide from the RNLI – “What are tides and how do they work?”
Some resources for tide times:
8. Be familiar with Water Safety guidelines
As the summer months begin to warm up our waters, there will be even more
people taking to our rivers, lakes and beaches to cool down and take a dip.
Safety should always be the highest priority for everyone when going swimming or
taking part in water activities.
So whether you’re having a quick dip of your toes, a refreshing swim, or engaging in watersports, plan ahead and prepare for your water adventures. Always be up-to-date with Water Safety Ireland’s guidelines on how to keep safe, and use their website to see which waterways have an on-duty lifeguard. Here are some resources to help keep you safe for your day on the water:
- Water Safety Ireland’s guidelines
- Our Boating and Watersports Checklist
- Our Personal Watercraft Checklist
- Our Angling Checklist
- Our “Responsible Outdoor Recreation – Watersports” Skills and Ethics leaflet
Are there any top tips you think we missed? Share your thoughts on social media, making sure to tag us! #LoveThisPlace #LeaveNoTrace #SunSmart