All posts by imogen

February Bawsey swim – sharing the swim love

Love for swimming, for Bawsey, why we come here to swim and why you can too

On Monday 12 February we met for a swim at Brickyard Lake to enjoy the glorious sunshine, to show our love for swimming, and to call for the Right to Swim for all who would also like to be able to swim here and in other inland lakes and waters. This post shows how people love swimming, and love swimming at Bawsey, and it answers concerns that might make swimmers nervous to come here.

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No open access for swimming, sometimes not even for walking

We have rights to access the countryside on highways, public rights of way, and open access land. But in reality these rights are limited. Open access land is not always open, and you’re not allowed to swim and do other things there even if you can get to it. We explored three areas this weekend and found several different limits to our right to enjoy the countryside. I’ve outlined these here followed by some more detail on the legislation, its limitations, and possibilities for the future.

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January Bawsey chilly dip; landowners concerns

Swimmers met on Saturday 13 January for a walk and to enjoy a lovely morning dip in the chilly waters and to call for a Right to Swim in inland waters including Bawsey Lakes. As experienced swimmers they know that this can be done safely at any time of year with knowledge. This post also looks at issues for landowners, including liability, impact on staff and community if something goes wrong, and strategies on the best way to prevent harm, with some useful resources.

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Are lakes freezing cold even in summer? (including quarries & reservoirs)

Water temperatures in lakes in England and Wales vary throughout the year, with weather conditions, with the size of the water body, and how it fills up with water, and at different levels in a large water body. In summer the upper level of water in lakes – the level where people swim – warms up noticeably, often well over 20°. This post dispels the inaccurate information about temperatures sometimes put out by authorities, and outlines the concerns about safety as a result of them doing so.

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December Bawsey swim

Winter dips – cold water benefits and safety

On a rather gloomy day, 10 December 2023, a small group of swimmers met to have a walk and a cold water dip and to call for a Right to Swim in Bawsey Lakes at any time of year. This post answers some questions about winter dipping and give some tips. Although some think that swimming in winter is a rather odd habit, we know that there are many benefits, and that it can be done safely with a little knowledge.

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Bawsey November swim trespass

On Sunday 19 November a varied group of outdoor swimmers and dippers gathered together to have a swim at the Brickyard Lake. We did this to show it can be done safely and to call for a Right to Swim to create an environment where outdoor swimming is seen as normal so that people can learn about doing it safely. The park warden attended to monitor and had a chat with our spokesperson, and a reporter from the local press attended and talked to several of us. The weather was not bad at all, water chilly at 8.9° with a bit of a breeze – what we would expect at this time of year – and 18 people got into the water, with 8 on the shore.

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Go Swimming October Bawsey trespass

On a glorious sunny autumn day, 22 October 2023, a varied group of outdoor swimmers and dippers met to Go Swimming together and have a walk at two beautiful lakes in West Norfolk, along with some of their friends. As well as having a lovely day, they wanted to show that it’s possible to swim safely outdoors, including in these lakes, and that we want and need places to swim – especially in such benign water bodies – so that everyone can learn about staying safe in open water.

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Right to Swim trespass: in Bawsey lakes Sept’23

Local outdoor swimmers and Right to Roam activists decided to gather for a swim trespass at Bawsey pits 23 September 2023. We found a family enjoying the beach at Brickyard lake on a sunny day. What they said and did perfectly illustrated the issues we wanted to raise with the swim trespass – we need access to inland waters and that swimming can be done safely and responsibly – the best way for all to learn about open water to keep themselves safe, and have fun!

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