As well as breathing in cleaner air because of less traffic on the roads and aircrafts in the skies, it also seems our seas and rivers have benefitted from the lack of activity over the last three months.

  • ITV News Meridian report by Richard Jones

The sun shines over the Solent on another perfect spring day and the light reveals a sea that many say is cleaner, clearer, and maybe even bluer then it's been for a long time.

Cliff Culver went into the water for the first time since February and he did see a difference.

Cliff Culver went into the water for the first time since February Credit: ITV Meridian

It looks pretty clean to be honest, a little bit warmer I'm glad to say as well. It was pretty cold the last time I was in. It's lovely and clean.

Cliff Culver, Surfer

There's been much less activity at sea since the coronavirus crisis began. Fewer ferries and cargo vessels have been seen and hardly any cruise ships or pleasure craft.

However, there are other factors. Almost since the crisis started three months ago, we've had dry and sunny weather with hardly any rain.

Great Stour in Kent Credit: ITV Meridian

That means there's been less run off from the land into rivers like the Great Stour in Kent and from there into the sea.

As well as good weather, fishermen in Hastings say there's another way nature is helping to keep the sea clear.

  • Paul Joy, Fisherman

But is the sea actually bluer?

The deep ocean really is pure blue, people say it's a reflection of the sky, but it's a fact that water absorbs most of the spectrum of the sun blue light is the thing that travels through and gets reflected so that's why it's blue so the purer the water the more blue it is.

Dr Simon Boxall, University of Southampton

It's a different story on man-made inland waterways like the Basingstoke Canal in Hampshire where the lack of activity could have a negative effect.

Weeds and reeds are growing fast in the Basingstoke Canal Credit: ITV Meridian
  • Roger Stanwell, Basingstoke Canal Society

Cliff Culver is a member of Surfers Against Sewage which campaigns for cleaner seas. It says nature has had a chance to breathe again in the last few months and we should build on that.

We need do studies to understand how nature can rebuild when we take the pressure off it and how we can replicate that without shutting down society when we get back to a new normal.

Hugo Tagholm, Surfers Against Sewage

There's not much time to do that. With good weather continuing and the summer almost here activity at sea is slowly increasing.