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Shaded Nation

Shaded Nation – Shade Sails

A third of sunburn cases happen in the UK

It’s easy to think sunburn is only something to worry about if you jet off on holiday to warm countries like Spain and Greece.

However, that simply isn’t the case as the sun can be just as strong here in the UK during the summer months and getting burnt can lead to serious health problems such as skin cancer.

Indeed, a study carried out by Cancer Research UK and Nivea Sun has revealed a significant number of sunburn cases occur within Britain. In a survey of more than 4,000 adults it found over a third (37 per cent) were in the UK the last time they were burnt.

A third of sunburn cases happen in the UK

A third of sunburn cases happen in the UK

It’s not just sunbathers who are at risk, as ten per cent of people said they were burned when taking part in an outdoor activity, while 11 per cent were caught relaxing their garden or a park and five per cent when doing the same on the beach.

Yinka Ebo, Cancer Research UK senior health information officer, commented: “As our survey shows, it’s easy to get sunburnt in the UK even if you’re not actively sunbathing – so remember to look after your skin and enjoy the sun safely.”

The organisation’s research also found just 16 per cent of adults regularly reapply sunscreen throughout the day when the sun is shining strongly, while only 20 per cent always cover their skin with items like long-sleeved clothes and a hat. This suggests an alarming number of people are putting themselves at risk of sunburn, which is very dangerous.

“Not only can this [sunburn] cause premature ageing and wrinkles, but it also increases the risk of skin cancer,” Ms Ebo stated.

An ideal way to stay safe in the sun is by installing a shade sail, these attractive canopies are manufactured with sun protection in mind and can block up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays.

Visit our online store to see the range of shades we have on offer.

How to keep kids sun-safe at school

Keeping kids safe in the sun is incredibly important. Getting badly sunburnt can cause serious health problems and as children aren’t old enough to appreciate the dangers themselves, it’s crucial you take care to ensure they are protected.

Indeed, avoiding getting burnt is especially important for kids, as scientists have discovered a clear link between suffering sunburn as a youngster and developing skin cancer in later life.

While keeping your children out of the sun isn’t too hard when you’re with them, ensuring they stay protected while off at school is more of a challenge. Here are a few tips on how you can ensure they stay sun-safe.

What to consider when designing a children's playground - part two

How to keep kids sun-safe at school

Get the basics right

Following a few basic principles will go a long way to ensuring your child comes back from school burn free. Dressing them in long-sleeved clothes will protect their skin by keeping it covered, while a hat will keep the sun off their face. If it looks like a hot and sunny day, sun tan lotion should be applied to any exposed areas of skin.

Making your little ones aware of the fact the sun is dangerous is also worthwhile. There’s no need to mention things like skin cancer, but informing them they should be careful when out in the sun can’t do any harm.

Speak to the school

If you’re concerned about your child getting burnt, why not speak to the school and find out what they are doing to help them stay protected? Schools have a duty to ensure the wellbeing of their students and if you’re worried they aren’t promoting sun safety you are within your rights as a parent to raise the issue.

Shade sails

Here at Shaded Nation we often provide shade sails to schools that are looking to create a shady spot where kids can relax away from the sun. These structures are highly versatile and are often used for creating outdoor classrooms as well. Any school that is looking to prioritise sun safety should consider investing in one of these structures.

Five steps to shade sail success

One of the best things about the shade sail canopies we provide here at Shaded Nation is that they are surprisingly easy to install.

One of our pre-made structures can be put up by just two people in a few hours, which saves you both time and money. Follow our five steps to success and you will have your own relaxing shaded spot in no time at all.

1. Planning 
Before you do come close to installing your shade it’s important to do some planning first. A range of things need to be taken into account such as space, the movement of the sun and if you’re planning to attach a shade to a building a professional should be consulted.

2. Installing your fixing points 
Once the plans are sorted, you’ll need to install your fixing points such as posts and brackets. We recommend steel posts for best performance and the one-third in two-thirds out approach normally works a treat when digging holes.

3. Measuring your area
If we’re going to provide you with the perfect shade structure, we’ll need the perfect measurements. Try to note these down as accurately as possible and feel free to get in touch with us if you’re struggling.

4. Order online
So you’ve done your planning, installed your fixing points and carefully taken down your measurements. Now it’s time to order your shade sail! It’s remarkably easy to do so using our online store and you can browse our wide range of shades to find one that suits you.

5. Installation
As mentioned above, installing a shade is a lot easier than you might think and can be done with relatively little effort in a few hours. We won’t go into detail here, but you can find comprehensive instructions about this and the other steps to success by taking a look at our installation guide.

Skin cancer becomes more common in Ireland

Skin cancer is becoming worryingly common here in the UK and new statistics suggest this concerning trend is also occurring in Ireland.

Data from the National Cancer Registry of Ireland (NCRI) has revealed an average of 6,899 cases of this disease were recorded each year between 1994 and 2011. Slightly more than eight per cent of these were malignant-melanoma, which is the most severe form of the condition.

The organisation found cases of the two main non-melanoma forms of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squarmous cell carcinoma (SCC), have increased by 33 per cent and 39 per cent respectively between 2002 and 2011.

Skin cancer becomes more common in Ireland

The NCRI’s report also highlighted significant differences between skin cancer rates in males and females. A much higher number of men contracted SCC, which is associated with “chronic long term occupational sun-exposure”, which suggests males are a greater risk due to the fact they often spend more time working outside in the sun than women.

However, cases of BCC were much more common in both men and women overall and this variant of the disease has been linked to “acute sunburn events in childhood and intermittent adult exposure”.

Thankfully, only a small number of people who contracted SCC and BCC died as a result, with an average of less than 50 fatalities per year.

These statistics show how important it is to stay safe in safe in the sun and avoid getting burnt, as this is one of the primary causes behind rising skin cancer rates. Luckily, this is something everyone can do really easily by covering up and sticking to the shade when it’s sunny, as well applying suntan lotion to any exposed parts of your body.

A shade sail canopy is an ideal way to keep out of the sun and can be used at home and for a wide range of commercial purposes.

They are inexpensive and easy to install, with pre-made shades starting at less than £40.

Eating broccoli ‘could reduce skin cancer risk’

Everyone knows eating your greens is good for you, but a new study has revealed broccoli could be especially worthwhile.

Research by the University of Arizona has found the vegetable may help to reduce the risk of people contracting skin cancer. However, it’s not eating broccoli that will combat the disease, but spreading it on your skin.

This might not sound like the most attractive proposition, but according to Dr Sally Dickinson, who carried out the study, the vegetable contains a compound called sulforaphane that has chemopreventive properties, which can help prevent cancer from occurring.

Eating broccoli 'could reduce skin cancer risk'

Eating broccoli ‘could reduce skin cancer risk’

“We’re searching for better methods to prevent skin cancer in formats that are affordable and manageable for public use. Sulforaphane may be an excellent candidate for use in the prevention of skin cancer caused by exposure to ultraviolet rays,” Dr Dickinson stated.

She added that even though awareness of the dangers regarding sunburn has increased in recent years, there are still “far too many” cases of skin cancer occurring each year.

Dr Dickinson will now carry out a pilot test that will see a broccoli sprout solution applied to the skin of a group of patients and measure whether this has a positive impact when they are exposed to solar simulated light.

“We already know that it [sulforaphane] is very effective in blocking sunburns, and we have seen cases where it can induce protective enzymes in the skin,” she stated.

While Dr Dickinson’s research is still a long way short of being complete, it is encouraging that new and inventive ways of tackling skin cancer are being developed as the disease is becoming worryingly common.

However, if the thought of covering your skin in a broccoli-based solution isn’t too appealing, there are other things you can do to stay protected. Sticking to the shade is the best way to reduce your chances of getting burnt and a shade sail canopy is the ideal way to do this.

Capable of blocking up to 98.8 per cent of harmful UV rays, these structures are a must-have investment for anyone concerned with sun safety.

Why choose Shaded Nation for your sun shade?

So, you’ve decided to invest in a shade sail, but haven’t quite made your mind up regarding which company you want to purchase it from.

That’s fair enough, as there are a number of businesses on the market all offering similar products. However, here at Shaded Nation we’re convinced both our shades and our service stand out from the rest and here are just a few reasons why you should buy your shade canopy with us.

The best products

When purchasing a shade sail your primary concern will always be the quality of the product and by choosing Shaded Nation you will be receiving the best there is.

We only sell Sail Shade World shades, which are manufactured to the highest standards possible. Our products are made using commercial-grade fabric that is built to last for 15 to 20 years.

All of our shades are crafted with colour-keyed seatbelt edge webbing that is unaffected by moisture and natural temperature extremes. This provides a higher level of performance compared to the usual turned and sewn border offered by other manufacturers.

An industry leader

As well as buying a quality product, you want to be dealing with a company you can trust and Shaded Nation also tick this box. We have a wealth of experience in the shade sail trade and are one of the leading firms in the sector in the UK and beyond.

With countless public and commercial customers, you can be sure we will provide a top-quality service.


Whoever you are, we’re confident we’ve got a shade structure to suit your needs. You can choose from our large range of pre-made shades, or if your requirements are more particular we’ll be happy to create a bespoke design.

Delivery and support

Your order will normally be dispatched within three or five working days of it being placed and payment being processed, while a 24-hour courier service can be used if you need your shade urgently.

We’re truly passionate about the products we sell and are more than happy to provide you with any support or guidance should you need it.

Shade sails aren’t just for summer

You might think shade sails are only necessary during the summer months. While it’s true their main purpose of blocking the sun’s rays mean they are predominantly used when the weather is warmer, this doesn’t make them redundant at other times of the year.

Shelter from the elements 

The sun isn’t the only thing sail shades can provide protection from, as these durable structures can also shelter you from other elements such as wind and rain. Having a shade in your garden means you can still enjoy being outside during the winter and won’t be at risk of getting wet.

While our shade structures can stand up to wind and rain, they are not designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and should be taken down if particularly bad weather is forecast.

Shade sails aren't just for summer

Shade sails aren’t just for summer

Business use

Many businesses use shade sails for a wide variety of purposes such as covering outdoor seating, smoking areas and building entrances to name but a few. These businesses still require their shades outside the summer months and our products are durable enough to perform all year round.


One of the best things about our shade sails is the fact they are semi-permanent and can be taken down and re-erected according to your personal preference. For example, if you decide to take your shade down during the winter months, only to find a sunny day is forecast you can put the structure back up quickly and easily.

Sun safety

While sunburn isn’t a common problem in the winter, people with particularly pale skin can still be at risk during days when the sun is shining strongly. Having a shade sail will help to reduce the chances of getting burned, which will limit the likelihood of more severe problems such as skin cancer developing.

You can take a look at our full range of shade canopies by visiting our online store.

Don’t let the sun spoil your appearance

Here in the UK a lot of people seem to be little obsessed with getting a tan. Indeed, many individuals are so desperate to catch the sun they are willing to let their skin get burned in the process.

While there’s no doubting brown, sun-kissed skin can look lovely, not everyone is lucky enough to have skin that turns this colour and will simply burn instead. Indeed, by allowing their skin to burn in pursuit of a tan, many people may actually be doing more harm to their appearance than good.

Here are a few reasons why beauty-conscious individuals should avoid spending too long out in the sun.


Don’t let the sun spoil your appearance

Wrinkles are many people’s worst nightmare, but if you over expose yourself to the sun the chances of developing these unwanted features is drastically increased. Sunburn is proven to cause premature ageing of the skin and if you’re hoping to stay looking young for as long as possible, being sun safe is a good idea.

Age spots
Age spots are brown blemishes that appear on the skin and while they may occur naturally, it is well known that too much sun exposure increases the chances of them forming.

Sagging skin
Another unwelcome side effect of sunburn is sagging skin, which as the name suggests, doesn’t look very pleasant.

Let’s face it, walking around with a bright red face is pretty embarrassing and impossible to hide. It can also be incredibly sore and getting into this state just because you’d like a tan really isn’t worth it.

Skin cancer
Of course, the primary reason anyone should want to avoid sunburn is because it’s scientifically proven to increase a person’s chances of contracting skin cancer. Sadly, cases of this disease are on the rise, even though it can easily be avoided by taking simple precautions to protect yourself from the sun.

Want to stay safe in the sun? Installing a shade sail will help.

Why restaurants can benefit from shade canopies

The impact of the financial crisis means people have been forced to cut back on non-essential spending on things such as eating out. As a result, restaurants now more than ever need to do everything they can to ensure customers are still coming through the doors.

One way you restaurant could boost its appeal without stretching its budget is by making the most of the opportunities provided by installing a shade canopy, which is the ideal way to create an inexpensive outdoor dining area.

Why restaurants can benefit from shade canopies

Why restaurants can benefit from shade canopies


When the weather is pleasant, people like to enjoy food and drink in the open air. By creating a covered outdoor area with a shade canopy such diners will be attracted to your establishment.

This can be a real tipping point for customers, especially if you are competing with other nearby venues that don’t offer any outdoor seating.

Furthermore, there’s nothing that attracts people to a restaurant more than seeing a venue that’s busy and full of fellow diners. Thus, restaurant owners should be willing to invest in anything that will attract more customers, no matter how small it may seem.


A practical advantage of adding a covered outdoor area to your restaurant is that it increases the amount of floor space available to you. More space, means more customers and that is only ever good news.

No one likes a cramped restaurant and by providing increased space you will be offering a far superior dining experience.

Smoking area

If you’re not keen on the idea of having outdoor seating all year round, there are plenty of other potential uses for a covered space. Smokers will always appreciate having an area that is sheltered from the elements and small features like this can make a big difference to the way a customer views a restaurant.


Another way you could make use of your covered area is to turn it into a storage space during the winter months. Items such as furniture can be kept secure out of the wind and rain, ready to be brought out again when the sun starts shining.

How does the bespoke shade sail process work?

So, you’ve decided on adding a bespoke shade sail to your property and are considering buying it from the team here at Shaded Nation.

However, you might have a few questions about how the process works before you make your final decision. If so, here is a handy guide that provides a brief overview of how we work and will give you a good idea of what buying your shade from us will entail.

Whenever we receive an enquiry about a shade, the first step is to carry out a thorough analysis of your requirements. We’ll look to gather as much information as possible to ensure you get a shade structure that fulfils all of your needs.

Once the analysis is complete, we move on to design. Using the information gathered in the analysis stage we will design a shade sail that meets your requirements as much as possible – taking into account a wide range of factors from location through to the time of year the shade will be used.

The next stage is manufacturing. All of our structures are built using shades from Sail Shade World as we believe these products are the finest on the market and offer the best combination of style, durability and reliability.

You can be sure your shade will stand the test of time as we’ll use state-of-the-art machinery and years of experience to produce a structure that will be as long lasting as it is good looking.

Once manufacturing is complete it’s time for installation and one of our project managers will oversee the whole process, which is normally completed within a few weeks.

Our service doesn’t stop after installation and we’re happy to offer a low cost maintenance package if you’d rather not carry out cleaning and re-tensioning yourself.

Want to know even more? You can find detailed information about how we work by clicking here.