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Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds

Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds sponsored by Belfast Harbour

Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds is a late-summer tour of blue spaces that helps you forge lasting connections with our wild waters.

From paddleboarding and beach yoga, litter-picking to educational talks, experience and learn about our waterways, and feel the mental-health benefits that they have to offer.

Dive in from Saturday 19th August to Sunday 17th September!

A bl-oost to the system

It’s been proven that blue spaces are really good for us. A 2021 report published by the Mental Health Foundation found that 65% of adults in the UK felt a positive impact on their mental health – reduced stress, anxiety and isolation – from spending time by public waters. One study even suggests that they could save the health-care system £176 million pounds a year!

However, the health of our coastal and inland waterways is in jeopardy, with Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful’s 2021 Marine Litter Report showing that, on average, 762 items of litter were found per 100 metres of beach surveyed, and that 81% of this contained plastic. Globally, it’s estimated that 170 trillion pieces of plastic – around 2 million tonnes – are floating in the world’s oceans.

We can all show more love to our rivers, loughs, canals and beaches. Let’s make Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds the place to start!

The 2023 line-up

Check out the ways that you can switch off, recharge and enjoy some downtime by our first-rate waterscapes.

Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds events are free of charge, thanks to funding from Belfast Harbour.

Interested in organising an event as part of the series? Get in touch.

To participate in an event, you must register on Eventbrite. Please click the 'View all events' button below. Please note: some events are subject to suitable weather and water-quality conditions. Age restrictions may apply.

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Sailing lesson with Sailschool NI

Bangor Marina | 19 August | 2pm-5pm

Foraging session with Feasting on Weeds

Crawfordsburn | 20 August | 12pm

Beach-sound healing

Kilclief Beach | 20 August | 8am-9am

Paddleboarding with Geology Rocks

Cranfield West Beach | 21 August | 2pm-4pm

Beach school

Wee Beach, Portstewart | 21 August | 2pm-3pm

Sandcastle competition

Carnlough Beach | 23 August | 11am

Scavenger hunt

Cranfield West Beach | 23 August | 10am-11:15am


Newcastle | 24 August | 6pm-8:30pm

Paddle with a purpose

Strangford Lough | 26 August

Boat trip to Rams Island

Rams Island | 26 August | 10am-2pm

Freshwater habitat investigation

Newcastle | 29 August | 10am-12:30pm

Compassionate cafe - our water world

Creggan Country Park | 30 August | 10am-12pm

Exploris Aquarium tour

Portaferry | 01 September | 10:30am

Butterfly and bird walk

Murlough Beach | 02 September | 7am

River litterpick

River Bann, Portadown | 03 September | 10am-1:30pm

Mindfulness walk and beach yoga

Murlough Beach | 03 September | 6:30pm-8:30pm

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Final chapter

Healthy Oceans Healthy Minds concludes with a series of beach litter-picks on 15-16 September that form part of the Ocean Conservancy’s International Coastal Cleanup.

Join a global day of action to #SeatheChange!

Learn more