Bathing in the Brecks: Outdoor Swimming past, present & future, is outlined in this separate section of the website. We will discover the history and promote safe and environmentally friendly outdoor swimming in Breckland in two NLHF-funded projects, Tales from the River and Healing Waters, part of the The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER). These are beginning in 2020, thanks to funding from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.
Get Involved, Dates
We plan to hold our first training session to introduce outdoor swimming and being safe on 13 September. For more info see Healing Waters 2020 dates.
How exactly we deliver the BFER projects continues to be under review because of the Covid-19 situation. We have postponed training sessions that were due to take place in spring, and thinking how we can respond and keep in touch. Ideas welcome. Meanwhile, we are asking if you have any Outdoor Swimming photos or stories to share.
Some recent posts in the Swims section might be of interest during this period, including some resources for swimmers and others when staying at home, to do with swimming, culture, nature. Also updates on the current position on swimming and outdoor exercise, for swimmers and landowners. Also this post on Drowning Prevention and this page on Landowner liability and swimmers.
The projects are now starting to take shape, with the first dates set in 2020. For the swim history project see – POSTPONED – Tales from the River 2020 dates; and for the outdoor swimming project see – Healing Waters 2020 dates.
Tales from the River will involve young people and adults in gathering and celebrating stories and folklore about outdoor swimming and other recreational use of the water in the Breckland rivers and other waters in the past and present.
Healing Waters will involve people in outdoor swimming with training to enjoy the waters safely and with care for the environment, and it will map and consider establishing and publicising suitable places for swimming or for other recreational uses of the rivers.
These 2 linked projects are part of The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme, which has now succeeded in the bid for funding and will be supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Read about the whole BFER project in detail – download the full report and a map of the area.
Landowners and other participants marked places on the Brecks map where they owned or managed land and where they have swum, at a workshop 11 March 2020 at the start of the Healing Waters project – read about the workshop.
Download a report of the day (Word.doc 4 pages), which also includes more information on workshop organisers and speakers, and a list of resources and guidance.
There is a Facebook group, Outdoor Swimming in Breckland (not part of the projects). (Members of the group swam in and explored many swim spots in the area over a weekend in early October 2019. They liaise with local landowners and help with litterpicking and keeping an eye on swim places.)
@TheBrecksLP is the Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme Twitter account
Contact me if you would like to get updates, to get involved, or have any comments or questions, or contact the The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme for questions on the wider set of projects.
Downloads high res map (8 mb) from The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme website