Category Archives: Topics

Is it only legal to swim in 3% of rivers in England?

Nick Hayes’ Book of Trespass and the Right to Roam campaign are brilliant contributions to campaigning for access to rivers for swimmers and paddlers. However I think that there is a flaw in this campaign. I think that giving the impression that it is illegal to swim in 97% of rivers in England could have negative consequences, with a chilling effect. In fact, though 3% of the length of rivers have uncontested rights to access, there are strong arguments that there are more rights than that. The issue is complex, and I’ve only touched on it here, with links for further reading (including the book).

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Support Diversity Swim for GRT

All are welcome to support the fundraising activity through November for Gypsy Roma+Traveller Charities, wherever you are. You can take part by doing some swims or dips, sponsor and support those who take part, send messages of solidarity or if you can you could donate. Sponsorship page, https://www.sponsorme.co.uk/annawright/diversity-swim-for-gypsy-roma-and-traveller-community.aspx, or send messages to me on Facebook or Contact me

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From 5 Nov to 1 Dec Can I swim, or drive to get there?

Yes, you can swim outdoors (though not in a pool or organised venue), and you can drive or travel to get there (though you should minimise the number of journeys and the distance you travel). Leaving your home for recreation or exercise (including swimming) must only be done alone, with one other, or with members of your household or support bubble. This note is about England only.

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Solidarity with Gypsy, Roma and Traveller people

This article and the swim event aim to raise awareness and understanding of racism against Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities (GRT), and to raise funds for organisations advocating for their rights and needs. Event details below and on the sponsorship page, https://www.sponsorme.co.uk/annawright/diversity-swim-for-gypsy-roma-and-traveller-community.aspx, and here, https://www.imogensriverswims.co.uk/blog/support-diversity-swim-for-grt/. All were welcomed to join in or support. (This article can also be downloaded as a Note, Word.doc, 6 pages)

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Black people, swimming and other outdoor activities

Black people, many ethnic minorities, and groups who face prejudice and discrimination often feel or are made to feel unwelcome in the countryside or taking part in outdoor activities or in swimming (indoors and outdoors). This is an article by a white person wishing to be an ally. I have given quotes from and links to writings and other media from others more eloquent and who are speaking from their own experience and in more detail – see the Writings, stories, campaigns and groups, quotes with links, below.

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River Lark and Mildenhall changes and swimmers

Changes are planned for the river Lark between Barton Mills (cut-off channel junction) and just downstream of Mildenhall, under several of the BFER projects over the next few years. These will have implications for swimmers and other recreational users of the river, and there are opportunities to ensure that our views are heard and for swimmers to get involved with the river restoration and improvement (particularly local swimmers).

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