Have you ever seen people peacefully paddling on the docks and thought, “I’d like to give that a try?”.
What if I told you there was a way you could try it out for free whilst also helping the environment and cleaning up one of our biggest tourist attractions?
Liverpool SUP Co. was started by Jayne (and her lovely dog, Oscar!) in 2015 after she tried stand up paddle boarding on holiday. Liverpool SUP Co. now offers regular paddleboard tuition, groups sessions and SUP (stand up paddleboard) yoga but I visited them to take part in a litter pick around the docks… on a paddleboard!
I arrived at Salthouse Dock on a very sunny evening and saw Jayne’s van, which is a cross between the mystery machine from Scooby Doo and something from a Beach Boys video, complete with four paddle boards on the roof rack!
Ten of us had turned up to take part in the litter pick and it was a mix of experienced paddle boarders who owned their own boards, people who had been to the last litter pick and a couple of people like myself who were there for the first time.
We got kitted out with life jackets, boards, litter pickers and buckets and paddles. Jayne went through the basics with the newbies and made sure we were comfortable on the board (we sat cross legged rather than trying actually standing up!) and off we went!
The weather was beautiful and paddle boarding is very calming and mindful activity. The litter pick was the perfect combination of having some ‘me time’ floating around the docks and also being social. To maximise the litter collecting we had periods where we split up and floated off on our own but we often all naturally met up in areas where there was a lot of plastic! Everyone was very friendly and there was a lot of chat as we sailed past each other.
It’s a surprisingly strenuous workout as you’re using a lot of core muscles to stay afloat so we headed back to the Salthouse Dock after about an hour and got our litter bagged up whilst discussing who had found the weirdest thing (mine was a mouldy sweet potato).
Jayne led a few of the group in an impromptu jump into the water as the water was so warm and inviting– I watched from the side as I hadn’t brought a change of clothes but I’ll know to be prepared next time!
After the session we all went to Turncoat Bar as they kindly gave us all a free drink for our efforts. A few passers by and dock residents stopped to say they had seen us litter picking and thanked us for making a difference.
At the moment, the litter pick sessions are monthly, but they’re already proving so popular that Jayne wants to eventually run them weekly.
For more information, check out http://www.liverpoolsupco.co.uk/