The wonderful work of the Solent Oyster Restoration Project continues apace with the installation of 4,500 oysters at MDL’s Mercury Yacht Harbour, Ocean Village and Shamrock Quay.
MDL is a proud partner of the scheme, with aims to reseed the Solent’s decimated oyster population. 10,000 oysters have taken already taken up residence at Hamble Point, Port Hamble, Sparkes and Saxon since the project began, suspended beneath the pontoons in cages specially designed by students from the University of Portsmouth. Early findings show they are already improving water quality and biodiversity.
The ambitious project, headed up by the Blue Marine Foundation, aims to reintroduce five million oysters to the Solent within five years. The new additions at Mercury, Ocean Village and Shamrock Quay bring the total to 14,500.
Jacob Kean-Hammerson, BLUE Project Coordinator, commented “BLUE is delighted to see this programme rolling out across the Solent with MDL Marinas. The innovative system has provided oysters a safe home to thrive and breed reseeding wild populations and an accessible platform for research and outreach with local schools and communities in the Solent.”
The European flat oyster, or native oyster, is an impressive animal and provides many benefits to the ecosystem. Capable of filtering 200 litres of water a day, the oysters help keep inshore waters clear and more productive and support many species of marine flora and fauna through the habitat they provide. Sadly, the UK population has halved over the last 25 years, while globally an estimated 85% of oyster beds and reef habitats have been lost.
The Solent Oyster Restoration Project is one of the many green initiatives that MDL Marinas is involved with as part of our commitment to securing a healthy marine environment for everyone to enjoy.
“Helping to restore the native oyster population, an important part of the local ecosystem which removes pollutants and provides habitats, is one of many ways that the boating community can give back to the ocean and improve the local waters around us for our future enjoyment.” Adrien Burnand, Head of Marketing of MDL Marinas.
Circa 1500 miles plus see some amazing sights, berths are available on a Challenger 72 that will sail from Portsmouth to the Norwegian Fjords and back.
The plan is to depart from Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth on 13th May and get to Norway 5 or 6 days later. Stavanger will probably be the first port of call. You’ll then spend 5 or 6 days exploring the dramatic fjords before reaching Bergen where we'll then head back down the North Sea through the oil and gas fields and on to Portsmouth.
Price is usually £1677 and includes all food on board, fuel, gas, oilskins and insurance. For MDL Members this has been reduced to £1425, a saving of 15%!
This is a great opportunity for anyone looking to build miles and get experience of a watch system / night watches / sailing up and down the North Sea / through the Dover Straits / navigating in the Fjords etc.
Challenger 72 is an extremely seaworthy yacht and built to sail around the world, a feat it has accomplished twice. A professional skipper and mate will also be provided.
Visit the First Class Sailing website for more information.
Calling all gourmets, gardeners, music lovers, mums and dads: there’s a treat in store at Shamrock Quay on bank holiday Monday, May 7th.
Shamrock Quay Fest promises to be a wonderful day out, with a line-up to please the whole family.
Give the diet a day off as producers from Hampshire Farmers’ Markets tantalise the taste buds with everything from fresh tomatoes from Wight Salads Nursery to devilishly tempting treats by Fordingbridge Fudge. There’ll be artisan breads, game, mouth-watering pies and much more, with the Winchester Distillery, Silent Pool Distillery and MASH Brewery on site with refreshments.
Cottage Garden Plants Ltd will be bringing a range of perennials, shrubs and herbs to delight the green-fingered, while Puggs Meadow Flowers will brighten everyone’s bank holiday with their beautiful cut flowers.
Give canoeing and kayaking a whirl with Active Nation (for a small fee), check out the cooking demonstrations, entertain the little ones with face painting and enjoy the eclectic sounds of the Still-Moving DJs, the ideal soundtrack to a day of laid-back fun by the water.
And of course, Shamrock Quay’s resident retailers will be showing off their wares. Size up the catch of the day J&S Fresh Fish, indulge in a sizzlingly good fry-up at the Yellow Welly or treat yourself to contemporary cuisine at the chic, nautical-themed Cove Restaurant.
It even looks like the sun’s going to put in an appearance, with a glorious day forecast.
If you’re not a Shamrock Quay member and fancy cruising around to this lovely, lively marina on the Itchen in Southampton, why not take advantage of the MDL Freedom Berthing scheme, make a weekend of it and head on over?
Entry is free and the fun kicks off at 10AM, wrapping up at 3PM.
Which MDL site will you be heading to on Marina Day? Open to everyone, we’re throwing fun-packed family days out across the group on June 9th.
With plenty to do and try on the water, jaw-dropping displays, food stalls, great music and perhaps the odd tipple, it’s the perfect way to spend a summer’s day.
Marina Day started life at our Sant Carles Marina in Catalonia in 2015 and was such a hit that by last summer, the idea had spread right across Spain. We decided it was high time that our UK sites joined the party – we're hoping that other marinas will come on board next year and make this an annual, UK-wide extravaganza.
It’ll be a great opportunity for our members to mingle and bring along their friends and family, who are curious about life on the water. There’ll be plenty to entertain the little ones and those who are more comfortable on dry land.
Highlights from around the group include jet ski safaris at Sparkes, the Bomb Squad and their robots at Queen Anne’s Battery, jet rib rides with Saber at Shamrock Quay, a flyboarding display and light show at Torquay, an open-air cinema at Mercury Yacht Harbour, sea kayaking at Woolverstone and lots more besides.
If you’re already a member of MDL, why not make the most of your Freedom Berthing membership and check out the action at another MDL marina - or maybe two?
Just some of the activities taking place at a marina near you can be found here!
Come and enjoy a tall glass of Pimm's outside the Marina Office.
Enjoy mince pies and mulled wine with your team at the marina office. Our treats are available daily, so come in from the cold to indulge!
Please note that seasonal treats will vary between marinas.
Log fire not guaranteed.
It was wonderful to see so many of you celebrating the start of the new season during the Easter weekend. Even if the weather wasn’t entirely spring-like for everyone, waterside treats from the Easter bunny and a steady stream of hot cross buns emerging from the dock offices certainly set the mood.
What’s more, with a packed schedule of events on and off the water this summer, there’ll be plenty of opportunity to burn off any excess calories all those chocolate eggs.
Here are a few shots of the Easter bunny dishing out treats to members at Torquay (including one young sailor who exchanged all her dummies for an Easter egg!) and Queen Anne’s Battery. The office at Ocean Village was packed with around 50 members who called in to toast the new season with friends old and new.
With winter finally, if reluctantly, giving way to spring, we’re excited about a fantastic summer of cruising and events.
The teams have been hard at work getting the marinas ready. The winter dredging programme is wrapped up – with a £1million investment every year, it’s no small undertaking. In 2016, enough material was dredged to fill more than 20 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
The upgrade at Ocean Village is continuing, with a smart new look and members already enjoying the spa, gym, restaurants and bars at the luxurious Harbour Hotel on the waterfront. At Cobb’s Quay, a new a 40 ton hoist has been installed, meaning larger boats can now be accommodated.
As you’d expect, we’ve been planning our social calendar with as much attention to detail! Big news for this year is Marina Day on June 9th. After the enormous success of the inaugural family open day event at our Sant Carles marina in Spain in 2015 – the popular celebration spread to marinas across Spain within two years – we’re bringing the fiesta to the UK. It’ll be a day of music, food, fun on the water and entertainment into the evening. Don’t miss it.
Just a few of the other social highlights this year include ‘dress as you please day’ at Ocean Village in June (with prizes, of course!), outdoor film nights in July and August at Northney, adventure golf complete with cream teas at Hythe in June, the British Firework Championships at Queen Anne’s Battery in August and a beer and wine festival in September at Bray.
We’re looking forward to welcoming you, do pop into the site offices to say hello and don’t forget to make the most of your Freedom Berthing membership to visit other marinas in the group this season – and maybe even complete the set!
Helping the next generation to discover the joys of life on the water is something MDL is passionate about. For over 20 years, we’ve supported the Ocean Youth Trust (OYT) South, a wonderful charity that gives hundreds of vulnerable and disadvantaged young people their first taste of sailing.
On May 13th, to raise vital funds, an MDL team will be running (and possibly struggling) around the grounds of Broadlands House outside Romsey in Hampshire for the third annual Romsey Relay Marathon.
Our team is made up of engineers, a HR administrator, our head of marketing and two directors. Team members have varying degrees of running experience, from marathon veterans to complete newbies.
Dan, Ollie, Adrien, Jo, Dean, Jane, Mike and Ben will each run a 2.6 mile leg of the course, competing alongside 130 other teams.
We’d love your support to help us reach our fundraising target of £1,000 and continue to support OYT South and all the incredible work they do. Sponsor us here.
For more information about the charity, visit their website at www.oytsouth.org
Those participating are: Dan Chamberlain (Marina Development Advisor), Oliver Witt (Projects Assistant), Adrien Burnand (Head of Marketing), Jo Meekley (Project Manager - Civils & Marine), Dean Smith (Commercial Director), Jane Whitcher (Payroll & HR Administrator), Mike Glanville (Director of Operations) and Dr Ben Carroll (Assistant Project Manager).