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Shaded Nation – Shade Sails

Murray wins on hottest day of the year

Sunday (July 7th 2013) was a pretty good day to be a Brit. Not only did Andy Murray become the first UK male to lift the Wimbledon trophy in 77 years, it was also the hottest 24 hours of 2013 so far.

According to the Met Office, a temperature of 29.7 degrees C was recorded at Hurn near Bournemouth, which beat the high of 29.1 degrees C that was set at Heathrow Airport a day earlier. Meanwhile, Murray worked his way to victory in a sweltering 29 degrees C, making his achievement all the more impressive.

The good news doesn’t end there though, as the Met Office believes it’s possible a new record temperature could be set in the coming days and it could even get above 30 degrees C in some parts of the south-west.

This isn’t going to be a flash in the pan either, as the organisation has claimed we are set for the longest spell of settled warm and sunny weather since July 2006.

Nick Grahame, chief forecaster at the Met Office, commented: “We have high pressure over the UK at the moment which normally brings us fine and settled weather at this time of year.

“The current outlook suggests this may be dominating our weather through next week and possibly out towards the middle of July.”

So, with the sun set to stay for the next few weeks it’s important to make sure you get outside and make the most of it. If you enjoyed watching Murray’s triumph on Sunday, why not give it a go yourself?

There are plenty of tennis courts across the UK and hiring a racket is generally not too expensive. If you don’t have anywhere suitable to play nearby, there’s always the garden, just make sure you keep things gentle to avoid smashing any windows!

Of course, with such hot weather the risk of sunburn is greatly increased and it’s important to stay protected. One way to do so is to relax and take it easy under a Shaded Nation shade sail.

Are your pets safe from the sun?

We all know that humans can get health problems from being exposed to the sun for too long, but it might surprise you to learn that pets are vulnerable as well.

When the weather is especially hot, dogs, cats and smaller animals like rabbits can suffer from sunburn and heat stroke in much the same way we do. Many people consider their pets to be part of the family and would be horrified if they knew they could be putting their health at risk by leaving them out in the sun for too long.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) has acknowledged this problem in a recent statement. It said: “Even a hot garden without shade can be disastrous for an animal.”

However, protecting your pets is easy, as installing a garden shade sail is the ideal way to keep them safe during the summer. These structures are specifically manufactured to block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays and provide a cool, shaded spot under which your dog or cat can rest out of the sun.

They’re not just for pets though, and are a great way for the whole family to enjoy being outside without having to worry about the threat of sunburn.

The RSPCA also warned dog owners about the danger of leaving their pet in a car on a hot day. The temperature inside a vehicle is much higher than outside and can reach 47 degrees C within just 60 minutes even if the external temperature is only 22 degrees C.

Sadly, many dogs die of heatstroke after being exposed to these conditions and simply leaving a bowl of water or opening a window is not sufficient to protect them.

With this is in mind, it is much better to keep your pet at home where it can relax in the shade of the garden if possible. If this isn’t an option, you could always leave them with a friend, relative or in the care of a kennels.

Sunburn is a problem at home as well as abroad

There’s a common misconception that sunburn is only really something to worry about while off on holiday in a hot country such as Spain and Greece.

However, while you are more likely to get burnt in a nation where the weather is naturally warmer, this doesn’t mean you aren’t at risk in the UK as well. Many Brits come down with a nasty case of sunburn while at home in the summer months and this can be just a*s painful and damaging to your health as being burnt while abroad.

This is all the more true when the weather is at hot as it has been in recent days – reaching close to 30 degrees C in some parts of the country.

The need to be aware of sunburn and take the necessary precautions has recently been stressed by councillor Christine Lawrence, who is in charge of health and wellbeing at Somerset County Council.

“Sunburn doesn’t just happen while we’re abroad – more than half the people suffering with sunburn are burnt here in the UK, so everyone needs to be aware whether they’re going away this summer or enjoying time off with the children at home,” she told the Somerset County Gazette.

Avoiding sunburn is hugely important, because it is scientifically proven that getting burnt makes people more likely to develop skin cancer. Figures from Somerset County Council show 500 people in the region were diagnosed with this disease between 2008 and 2012, which makes it the eighth highest out of 151 NHS Primary Care Trust areas.

Dr Ulrike Harrower, a consultant in public health at the council, said suffering a painful burn just once in two years can triple a person’s chances of getting skin cancer, so it really is important to stay protected.

Want to make the most of the Great British summer without feeling the painful effects of sunburn? Install a shade sail– the perfect shade solution for homes, businesses, schools and a whole host of other locations.

Why not spend some quality time in the garden?

With so many people leading such busy lives these days, the importance of spending time with family can be overlooked.

Indeed, a new study from Virgin Holidays and the Universal Orlando Resort has revealed the typical family spend little more than an hour a day in each other’s company.

When it comes to weekdays, the average household only manages 36 minutes of quality time, due to a combination of work, chores, evening clubs and other activities. Furthermore, people see their extended relations such as grandparents even less.

A spokesperson for the study commented: “Families are busier than ever with parents working, children at school and the evening and weekends taken up with a host of clubs, sports and play-dates with friends.

“But this means that many families struggle with really getting to spend some time together and just enjoy each other’s company for a while.”

Working long hours was highlighted as the main barrier to parents being with their family, while children’s preference for watching TV or playing computer games is also a hindrance.

The tough economy may be limiting the amount of time families get to spend together, as people feel they do not have the money to take the children out for the day.

However, it’s still possible to have quality time without leaving your home. If you have a garden why not make the most of it? There’s a whole host of family activities that can take place in your own backyard, such as having a BBQ, playing a game or maybe even doing a spot of communal gardening.

The perfect period to do this is in the summer, when the warm weather and long days make the garden an ideal place to relax and unwind. It’s important to be careful of the sun however and installing a shade sail is an easy way to keep you and your family protected from the threat of sunburn.

We stock a range of shade structures that are designed to boost the appearance and value of your home, click here to learn more.

Sunburn cases soar in July heat

The UK has been blessed with some fantastic weather in the opening months of July, but it seems a worrying number of people may be letting sunburn spoil their fun.

A new survey by Asda has revealed a shocking 73 per cent of Brits got burnt last week (July 8th-14th 2013).

The supermarket undertook the research as part of its Don’t Get Burnt campaign, which is being carried out with the British Skin Foundation and aims to raise awareness about the dangers of being exposed to strong sunlight.

With nearly three-quarters of the 1,072 people surveyed admitting they got burnt, it’s unsurprising Asda reported a 281 per cent increase in aftersun sales, as well as a 158 per cent rise in the number of aloe vera products being bought.

Furthermore, researchers from the supermarket recently visited Brighton beach and found that just five per cent of people enjoying the sunshine were wearing any form of suncream whatsoever. This is despite the temperature reaching 23 degrees C.

While it’s perfectly understandable that Brits want to make the most of the warm weather, getting burnt can do more than simply make your skin go an embarrassing and uncomfortable shade of red.

Sunburn is scientifically proven to increase the chances of contracting skin cancer and the level of risk is particularly severe in children.

Healthcare expert Dr Dawn Harper, who is supporting Asda’s campaign, commented: “Shockingly, allowing your child to play in the sun unprotected is a much higher risk than allowing them to smoke a cigarette – just ten minutes in strong sun can be all it takes for the sun’s UVB rays to burn the skin.”

While the figures revealed by Asda are undoubtedly worrying, the good news is that staying safe in the sun is easy. Keeping your skin covered where possible and regularly applying sun cream will go a long way to ensuring you’re protected.

Another great way to stay safe is to relax underneath a shade sail, these canopies are manufactured to block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays and represent the ideal way to enjoy the outdoors.

Stay safe in the heatwave with a shade sail

When you have to put up with the UK’s miserable weather for most of the year, the idea of a heatwave probably sounds like a dream come true.

Indeed, the glorious sunshine and high temperature is great for spending time outside and there is no reason people shouldn’t enjoy it. However, it’s also important to be aware of the health risks that can occur during these conditions and to ensure you’re protected.

The Met Office has issued an official Level 3 heatwave one word warning for the UK between July 17th-18th and this means temperatures in parts of the UK could exceed 30 degrees C for a substantial amount of time.

Dr Angie Bone, the heatwave plan lead for the government organisation Public Health England, has provided advice concerning those most at risk during these extreme conditions.

“While many people enjoy hot weather, high temperatures can be dangerous, especially for people who may be particularly vulnerable such as older people, young children and those with serious illnesses,” she stated.

“The elderly and those with long-term illnesses are particularly vulnerable to the effects of very hot weather, so it’s important to look out for them and keep indoor areas as cool as possible,” Dr Bone added.

She recommended sticking to the shade when possible, drinking plenty of cool drinks and avoiding sunburn as some of the best ways to stay healthy when temperatures are extremely high.

An ideal way to ensure you and your family are safe during a heatwave is to install an outdoor shade sail. These canopies are specifically manufactured to withstand the harsh Australian sun, meaning they can easily stand up to anything the British summer has to throw at them.

They can block up to 98.8 per cent of the harmful UV rays that cause sunburn and other health problems. What’s more, they are built to last and will provide the same level of protection should another heatwave unexpectedly occur a few years down the line.

Five uses for a shade sail

We’re passionate about shade sails here at Shaded Nation and one of the main reasons we love our products is their flexibility.

You might not know it, but the shade structures we provide are incredibly versatile and can be used for a wide range of purposes. Read on to find out more.


Looking to create a relaxing, shaded spot in your garden where you can sit and unwind? One of our shade sails is perfect for you. All of our canopies are designed to be stylish as well as functional, meaning they will boost both the appearance and value of your home.


Business uses for a shade sail are wide and varied. Be it providing shelter for a restaurant with outdoor seating, or offering a covered smoking area for an office block, we are used to meeting the needs of commercial clients. Not sure if we have a shade to suit your company’s requirements? Feel free to get in touch and discuss your thoughts with us.


Shade structures are becoming an increasingly common feature in schools due to the level of sun protection they provide. Our products can block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays, which drastically reduces the risk of sunburn. With many schools embracing outdoor learning, there is a real need to keep kids safe from the sun and we are happy to help.

Sporting venues 

Another popular use for our shades is to provide shelter at sporting venues such as running tracks and swimming pools. They give protection from the elements for spectators and also participants in some cases.


It’s much better for a car to be parked in the shade and if you don’t have a garage, why not use a shade canopy to cover your parking spot?

These are just a selection of the possible uses for our shade canopies and if you’ve got something in mind why not get in touch and we can discuss whether it’s doable. We are more than happy to produce bespoke designs, so the chances are we’ll be able to help you out.

Five things to do under a garden shade sail

So, you’ve made the decision and opted to install one of our shade sails. However, have you thought about what you’re actually going to do in the lovely shaded spot that will soon be a part of your garden? We’ve compiled a short list of suggestions below.

Read a good book 

Is there a better way to spend a warm day than relaxing in the shade with a good book? Find yourself a comfy chair, make a cold drink and prepare to lose yourself in the pages of one of your favourite reads.

Eat a meal

One of the best things about summer is that it allows us to eat outside and for some strange reason food always seems to taste better in the open air. Whether it’s a quick breakfast, spot of lunch, or just a refreshing cup of tea, sitting under a shade sail is the ideal place to indulge yourself.

Play a game

Be it chess, Monopoly or even snakes and ladders, nothing beats a good old fashioned board game. Why not challenge a friend or relative to a game out in the garden?


Working might not be the first thing that springs to mind when you think of uses for a garden sun shade, but you’d be surprised at how much easier it feels out in the fresh air instead of being cooped up in a stuffy office.

Sit back and relax

While all of the things mentioned above are a great way to spend time in the shade, perhaps the best thing to do is nothing at all. What could be better than wiling away an hour or two of a hot day just relaxing with your thoughts and maybe even having a little snooze?

Here at Shaded Nation we think a garden shade sail is a fine addition to any home. Not only will it make the place look great, it could boost the value of your property as well. We have a variety of shapes, sizes and colours for you to choose from and can even provide a bespoke design if that’s what you’d prefer.

Are parents who let their children get sunburn guilty of neglect?

It’s safe to say the majority of people probably suffered from sunburn at least once or twice as a child.

However, with skin cancer cases continuing to rise in the UK, a group of campaigners has called on parents to take greater responsibility to ensure their kids are protected from the sun’s harmful rays.

According to Melanoma Action and Support Scotland, allowing a child to get badly burnt is neglect and parents who do so should be referred to social services.

Leigh Smith, chair of the organisation, commented: “Malignant melanoma is the most common cancer in young adults aged 15-34 in the UK and it happens from getting sunburned.

“We also need to make sure schools are protecting children from sunburn while they are there. As far as I’m concerned it is a child protection issue.”

Her comments were made in response to reports that the recent hot weather experienced across the UK has seen several youngsters – including a baby of just four weeks – omitted to accident and emergency wards with severe burns.

“It’s very serious. These parents have tripled their children’s chances of getting skin cancer,” Ms Smith stated.

Founder of charity the Burned Children’s Club Pat Wade has expressed her support for this view. She claimed that with a large amount of information about the dangers of the sun now available, there is no excuse for parents not ensuring their children are protected.

Whether people whose kids suffer from sunburn are guilty of neglect is open for debate. However, the importance of keeping your children safe in the sun cannot be disputed. Getting badly burned as a youngster is proven to increase the risk of contracting skin cancer in later life, which means ensuring your little ones are protected is absolutely vital.

Installing a Shaded Nation shade sail is a perfect way of doing this. Our shades can block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays and by doing so they protect your children and provide you with welcome peace of mind.

Sunburn hospital cases on the rise

The health risks associated with sunburn are now common knowledge. It is widely known that getting burnt is directly linked to skin cancer and that staying safe in the sun should be a top priority.

Despite this, a significant number of people are still failing to take the necessary precautions and are allowing themselves to get burnt in pursuit of a tan, or simply because they forget to wear sun cream.

As temperatures have risen across the UK in July, hospitals all over the country have seen an increased number of Brits coming to them with badly burned skin. For example, the Surrey Mirror has reported the level of patients visiting East Surrey Hospital for this reason in the first 18 days of July was double that for the whole of June.

However, going to an accident and emergency ward should only be required in extremely severe cases of sunburn, as normally this is a condition doctors can do little about.

Eloise Clarke, a spokesperson for the hospital, said: “People with sunburn should ask their pharmacist for advice, or see their GP if they have sunburn and feel faint, dehydrated or have severe blistering.

“If the GP surgery is closed they should call the GP telephone number to hear a message about who to contact for medical advice or call 111.”

This sentiment has been echoed by the East of England Ambulance Service, which is concerned about the number of people calling 999 after getting burned in the sun.

Oskan Edwardson, associate director of special service operations at the organisation, urged people to think twice before dialling for an ambulance due to sunburn, as the condition does not require urgent medical treatment.

The symptoms of sunburn will heal naturally over a relatively short space of time, but it is the long-term effects that are most worrying. Getting burnt causes irreversible damage to the skin that may lead to skin cancer several years later, which means it is crucial to do everything you can to stay protected.

Our shade sails block up to 98.8 per cent on the sun’s harmful rays. Want to know more? Visit this page to find out.