Sea kayaking day tours in New Forest, England
How Sea kayaking day tours in New Forest, England makes a difference
Our business was founded on the waters of Beaulieu River nature reserve and its conservation and habitat are important to both the business and our customers. Finding out about the wildlife and history of the river is embedded into our tours and trips, ensuring that people understand the importance of the nature reserve and its historical routes.
Since we started we have worked closely with both the landowners and Natural England to ensure that our use of the water enhances, rather than detracts from the area. We have great success introducing people to a new sport in such a stunning environment, so we needed to ensure it was sustainable.
As part of a case study with Natural England’s Best of Both Worlds initiative, we were one of the first recorded cases of joint working between activity and conservation groups. Part of our agreement was to support Natural England in surveying aspects of the river and wildlife; including surveys on salt marsh degradation and bird surveys. As a result of consultation and agreement we response to the environments needs in a number of ways.
Our river side base on the river, which until 2009 acted as our full time office is a re-claimed building and yard. Originally part of the old brick works and then a game keepers hut, this historical building was in a state of disrepair, used only for storage of old tool and equipment. The small yard area outside was full of old building materials and other discarded industrial and residential goods. We approached the landowners about this area, once our operations had expanded and needed a full time office / base.
We asked if any plans we’re in place for the building and in 2006 after extensive renovations by Beaulieu Settle Estate it became a fully equipped office. As well as the renovations carried out by the land owner we re-build the lean too area behind, turning it into a store for equipment and a workshop. The car-park area was cleared and re-graveled to create a comfortable base for clients and staff alike. Perfectly in tune with its location, Frank's Yard is an example of what can be done with existing resources, when approach in a sensitive manner.
All our staff are local to the area and proud to show it off. We combine many of our activities with food and accommodation provided by local businesses and can always make some personal recommendations to those who ask.
Over the years the business has gone from being a specialist activity provider; to a booking service now catering for The New Forest as a whole. Our vision is to become the booking agent for all The New Forest has to offer, providing information on accommodation and allowing customers to book in one place all the activities and attractions tickets they’d like to try during their visit. This service can really benefit the smaller providers, especially when they find they can outsource all their marketing and bookings to us at competitive rates. They can then focus on providing the best activities without having to deal with the behind the scenes aspects, which can be so time consuming.
We work with local colleges and schools to provide both work experience placements and apprenticeship opportunities. Top choice for student work placements at the local schools, we now offer NVQ qualifications in Outdoor Leadership as part of a national apprentice scheme. This is great for local youngsters who fancy a career in the outdoors, but find travelling to college difficult due to the rural transport network.
All staff receives ongoing training in their positions and are encouraged to develop a wide range of skills. Many people also volunteer their time to help us over the busier months, gaining valuable experience working with groups and on their personal skills. We encourage more experienced instructors to support those learning the ropes, giving everyone access to the company’s resources. For example our senior team recently took our apprentices and newer team members to North Wales, so they could all improve their kayaking skills on white water.
The landscape is the resource which makes our services. For example our canoeing and kayaking tours are full of facts and information about the local area, its history and its habitats. People on these trips are encouraged to ask questions to find out more about the local area in general. All our guides and leaders are training not just on safety and leadership, but also to engage visitors in discussions on wildlife, habitats and conservation.
These types of ideas also extended to our self-guided activities. For example people hiring bikes form our Beaulieu Booking Centre, also get access to a short orienteering course, packed full of questions relating to the environment and area’s history. Answering these not only increases the value of the cycle hire product, it also allows the participants to really appreciate where they are and how we all fit into it.
So from booking with our team in the office, all the way to taking part in an activity programme, our customers find us to be useful and knowledgeable in all aspects of spending time in The New Forest. This helps them to have the most enjoyable and relaxed time possible, focusing on the fun and not the arrangements.
Sea kayaking day tours in New Forest, England