Page 33 - ALG Issue 2 20202
P. 33

  Get sunwise or get sun wizened!
It’s spring and the ‘Watch your
Back! sun protection campaign for gardeners is back. Launched by the Melanoma Fund in 2016, the focus
this year is on sun damage, with the message; ‘get wise OR wizened!’
David Domoney, Adam Frost, Charlie Dimmock and Mark Lane feature in hard-hitting images, highlighting the effects of unprotected UV exposure, inspiring more people to ‘reach for
the sunscreen’. Help to protect your allotment gardeners by downloading the posters from www.watchyourback. to display in your trading hut or community space. Post an image of the poster in situ on your Facebook page or put a feature in your association newsletter and we will enter your site in a prize draw to win a selection of gardening books. Email diane@nsalg. and let me know.
Gardeners actively protect the health
of their plants and lawns, but then
tend to neglect their own health, by not protecting their skin when gardening. Although UV exposure is important for boosting our Vitamin D levels, spending lots of time outdoors without sunscreen will leave us all vulnerable to some adverse side-effects, as well as the risk of skin cancer.
How young or old we look for our age is actually a result of the sun exposure we’ve sustained. UV light is responsible for 90% of wrinkles, pigmentation, sun spots, reduced skin elasticity and the degradation of skin texture, creating a wizened appearance, adding at least 10 years to our perceived age.
To become a ‘sunwise’ gardener, simply adopt three healthy habits:
• Wearappropriateclothing,including
a wide-brimmed hat and eye
• Avoid the sun during the hottest part
of the day (usually 11am to 3pm) • Always use a SPF30+ broad-
spectrum sunscreen that protects against both UVA and UVB rays
Says Jennifer O’Neill, Consultant Plastic Surgeon; “Gardeners of any age can benefit from positive changes to their sun protection habits in order to avoid excessive UV exposure. Not only will
this help to prevent accumulated sun damage, but also reduce the risk of all types of skin cancers, which at their least can leave an unsightly scar when removed, and at their worst (such as with melanoma) can be life threatening.”
Avoid the sun during the hottest part of the day (usually 11am to 3pm)
Skin cancer is epidemic, with incidence rapidly rising in young adults aged 20 to 29. Rates of melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, are
set to treble in the next 30 years, and with climate change set to exacerbate the problem, creating awareness to all who love the great outdoors has never been more important. The message is ‘get out and enjoy your garden, but be sun-wise’.
Watch Your Back! is partnered with
the Garden Centre Association, the
Professional Gardeners Guild and
The National Allotment Society and
backed by 9 leading gardeners. To download posters that you can pin up in your allotment trading huts and communal spaces along with further tips and advice from leading experts visit
 Allotment and Leisure Gardener 33

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