Making the most of summer

Making the most of summer

1 August 2013

Whatever happens with the weather, summer is for most people, a time for fun and relaxation. So, building on the success of our online winter campaign that attracted over 400,000 visitors to the web pages, we have developed a new section on our website called 'Get ready for the Great British summer'.

The collection of web pages focuses on leisure and wellbeing. They outline a diverse mix of activities to help people make the most of the summer - come rain, shine or even heatwave. It is designed in a magazine format, and presents the information as short articles, grouped under separate sections: Be active, Entertain, Relax and Explore.

While the winter version gave practical advice aimed at saving lives and protecting property during a severe winter, the summer campaign will balance the fun, entertaining side of life with practical tips for coping with more extreme temperatures or conditions. After all, Britain rarely has a summer where every day is the same. It will also directly link to the usual Met Office forecast web pages and services such as our Heat-Health Watch, UK UV forecast map and pollen alerts.

Getting together

The site is a collaborative effort between the Met Office, its partners, charities and other organisations - and therefore links to a wide range of incredibly useful information. So if, for example, we suggest trying sailing or windsurfing on a warm, windy day, there's a link to RNLI and beach safety advice - and possibly Cancer Research UK, for how to avoid sunburn and stay hydrated. For an article on the perfect woodland walk, the Forestry Commission provides the dos and don'ts of preventing a wildfire.

There will also be opportunities to feature less obvious pursuits, such as building a natural windbreak in your garden, or having a barbecue using recipes from celebrity chefs or supermarkets. And if it's raining outside, we even recommend particular books and films to enjoy while curled up on the sofa.

Social connections

The site will also be linked to the Met Office's events calendar, so people can check on the different types of sports happening around the UK, including tennis at Wimbledon. Social media, such as Facebook, will also feature - linking to articles and photos of people's summer experiences.

We're also running interactive blogs, aimed primarily at the media. These create the opportunity for the Met Office to write news and create content on all kinds of things - from records being broken in sport to 'did you know?' facts about the weather.

Looking ahead, we hope to build on the collection of online winter and summer campaigns and develop this interactive part of the Met Office site even further. As more content, news and stories fill the pages, it's easy to see how they could take on a life of their own - showing, sharing and discussing all the different things people can do - whatever the great British weather has in store.

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