Charity Environment Schools

Groups urged to take to the water this summer

By Sarah Edwards

Community groups from across the Leys have the chance to use a narrow boat this summer to explore Oxfordshire’s countryside from the water.
Narrow boat, Biddy’s Dream is a community resource but owned and managed by The Dovecote Centre, and used for the Dovecote Afloat project.
Carol Richards from the centre said: “Dovecote Afloat is a more exciting, challenging and fun way of introducing young people to the natural environment. The project makes teaching and learning about nature and environmental awareness easier and fun to do. It will open up a completely different side to life for young people, which will always be available, but which, ordinarily they may have remained unaware of.
“Dovecote Afloat is designed to give a new and innovative dimension in providing young people on the Leys access to nature. They have the opportunity to explore Oxfordshire’s countryside from a completely different perspective, giving them the opportunity to observe wildlife and the natural environment in a less obtrusive way.”

Biddy’s Dream is a community resource for local organisations and groups from Blackbird Leys to use In order to support the Dovecote Afloat project Biddy’s Dream is available for hire all year round.
Carol added: “The maximum number of passengers allowed on a board at any one time is 12, excluding the Helmsman. Biddy’s Dream carries adequate cutlery, crockery and cooking equipment. There is a gas cooker, normal size fridge, hot and cold running water, filtered drinking water, shower and central heating. We also have children’s life jackets that can be hired for a small fee. People using the boat should bring water proofs, warm clothing, non-slip footwear, tea, coffee, milk, sugar and any refreshments you may want.”
A qualified Helmsman will be provided to navigate. Adults and children with the correct supervision and risk assessments in place will be required to help with locks, and passengers will also have the opportunity to steer.
Onboard Biddy’s Dream you will find two seating/dinette areas, one pump flush toilet and a comfortable seating area in the forward saloon. The galley has a large work surface, food storage cupboard and gas cooker with an oven and grill. Outside seating for six people is available at the front of Biddy’s Dream. Day trips cost £180 which is the equivalent of £15 per person.
To book a trip or for further information contact Carol Richards on Oxford 01865 712299 email
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