About us Blogs SWLT Things to do with the children outdoors this summer There are plenty of fantastic opportunities to get outside and get active around the lakes; nature is right on our doorstep, providing the perfect playground and outdoor setting for a family day out. Studies show that young children spend twice as long looking at screens as they do playing outside. This can negatively influence children’s problem solving abilities and creative thinking. We would like to help more children engage with nature, away from the distractions of modern technology. This summer, create memories with your children, breathe in the fresh air, and enjoy the mental and physical benefits of spending time outdoors. Here are some ideas… Look for wildlife Venture along miles of footpaths around the beautiful lakes of the south west. Appreciate the peace and beauty of a nature walk and discover the hidden mysteries of the woods, nestled within the trees and shaded under rocks. A rich array of habitats constitute the countryside around the lakes, giving rise to plentiful wildlife. See if you can spot and identify bird species from the bird hides, or look closer to the ground and count how many different minibeasts you can find! Try a spot of pond dipping and uncover life beneath the surface of the water. If nocturnal animals are your passion, join in a bat walk, led by knowledgeable experts. A bat walk will be held at Argal Lake on Wednesday 24 July, while Batty About Bats, a family bat walk and craft evening, will be happening on Wednesday 14 August. There will also be a bat and moth walk at Siblyback Lake on Saturday 21 September. Have a go at den building Why not try your hand at some creative outdoor den building? Drop into Siblyback Lake any time during the summer holidays and use the equipment to make your own den! Make the best den you can, in the safest place. If you would like to show off your creation, take a picture – tag us on Facebook or email us and you might win the den building competition! We will be judging the photos at the end of September, so do your best! Cycling Grab your bikes and take an active tour around the lakes, filling your lungs with fresh air and appreciating the calm of the countryside scenery. Explore our family friendly, specially designed off-road cycling trails around the lakes. Take a gentle cycle around the lake and enjoy the beautiful views, or take a more vigorous route through the trees and down the hills. While some surfaces are uneven, the paths have been designed to allow everyone to enjoy the trails safely, irrespective of ability. The Mr Twizzle Loop trail and the Mr Twisty Loop trail at Wimbleball are two great off road cycling routes for families – suitable for children on balance bikes, the whole loop can be seen from one place. Take photos A great way of appreciating the wonder of nature and the beauty of the world around you is to capture the scene with your camera. Try capturing an activity in a dynamic action shot, and contrast it with the peaceful atmosphere of a calm day on the lake. Read our top photography tips blog here. If you take some winning snaps, enter our Love your Lakes photo competition with South West Water! The competition is free to enter, and there are plenty of exciting prizes up for grabs. Click here to find out more. Get active on the water or up in the trees Get out on the water and try a range of activities including kayaking, windsurfing, canoeing, stand up paddleboarding and sailing. Alternatively, reach new heights at Roadford and Wimbleball with climbing. Find out more here. So, go out and create some fantastic memories this summer!