Our friends at the Canal and River Trust recently published a report which outlined the health and social benefits of spending more time in, on or around our waterways. So let’s love our urban blue spaces, just as much as our green ones!
For too long, the ‘success’ of a country has been measured in economic terms – its GDP – but this study is all about SWB – Social Wellbeing. In a nutshell, it’s a measure of our quality of life, our happiness and how we’re feeling more generally, rather than how much money we have – or haven’t – got. SWB has been translated into financial terms and the independent research, commissioned by the Canal and River Trust finds that waterways add an astonishing £3.8BILLION to our wellbeing economy.
People who regularly visit waterways are, on balance, happier and calmer than those who don’t. Think of how many working days are lost to depression, anxiety and stress-related illness – and what the NHS spends on treatment – and you’ll get some idea of the value (in every sense) of our canals and rivers.
We’ve always known that life in, on and around rivers is good for you: we’re a happy crew and our guests are very happy too. We’re lucky to be in a beautiful city and even luckier to have a river running through it.
When we’re on or near water, we slow down in every sense. Life at 4mph helps us observe and really notice what’s around us, rather than speeding by on our way to somewhere else. Mental health experts talk about mindfulness, and this ‘living in the moment’ is exactly what they’re talking about.
We run half-hour cruises every day – a quick jaunt to the edge of the city and back – which are perfect for a quick lunch-hour de-stress if you work in Chester. If you have more time, we’re sailing right out into the countryside at weekends in June (then daily after that) – two hours of rolling green hills, tree-lined riverbanks and the gentle hum of the boat as we drift by.
We sail every day, so join us at The Groves. Come aboard, get a drink, then sit back, relax and unwind your mind!
Want to read more? You’ll find the Canal and River Trust report here