OS Brecks

Logo with stylised river and pines, link to BFER website
The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme

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 projects, Tales from the River and Healing Waters, part of the The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER). These began in 2020, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Get Involved, Dates
NHLF logo, link to website
The National Lottery Heritage Fund

We held our first Healing Waters training session to introduce outdoor swimming and being safe on 13 September, and are now planning more for 2021. For more info see Outdoor Swimming practical project begins 2020, plans 2021.

During 2020 the Covid-19 situation has meant thinking carefully about how we deliver the  BFER  projects, and this is likely to continue.

We have postponed training sessions in the Tales from the River project due to take place spring 2020, and are thinking ahead about how we can deliver that project in 2021.

For the latest on the Tales from the River project dates, see Swim history project plans 2020, 2021; and for the Healing Waters project see Outdoor swimming practical project begins 2020, plans 2021.

We are keen to hear from you if you have any Outdoor Swimming photos or stories to share.

See how you can get updates or get involved in the projects – Contact me. And to hear about future events in this or other projects sign up for BFER updates and newsletter.

Young people – how you can get involved in Healing Waters.

river with chalk beach, clouds
River Little Ouse at Hockwold

Over spring and summer 2020 for the Swims section of my website I put together some resources for swimmers, those interested in the outdoors, and for landowners. These included activities, reading, audiovisual, links when staying at home to do with swimming https://www.imogensriverswims.co.uk/blog/online-resources-swim-advice-exercise-health/ , culture, heritage and nature, and gave regular updates on swimming and outdoor exercise under Covid 19 for swimmers and landowners. In addition I wrote this post on Drowning Prevention and this page on Landowner liability and swimmers. (All of these are not directly part of the projects, but could be of interest.)

Key Documents

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.

Read about the Tales from the River project in more detail.

Read more about how youth groups can get involved in the Tales from the River project in the brief for organisers

See a summary of the Tales from the River project on the BFER website projects page

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.

Read about the Healing Waters project in more detail

and Download a talk on the project 11 March 2020 (Word.doc, 2 pages)

See a summary of the Healing Waters project on the BFER website projects page

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.

See summaries for all of the BFER projects on their website page

Reports

Nearly 50 people got in the water on 13 September 2020 – a very popular and successful day of introduction to outdoor swimming; ‘have a go, learn how to be safe and have fun’.  This was the first of these training events, in which qualified lifeguards supported by volunteers introduced people in the Breckland area to swimming outdoors and to understanding the risks and benefits. Read a report of the day.

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.

See display panels about the projects and a map with a snapshot of where people go for recreation, from The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme Conference 13 March 2019.

Logo with stylised river and pines, link to website
The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme
Other info

There is also a Facebook page: Bathing in the Brecks: Outdoor Swimming past, present & future and Twitter https://twitter.com/OSBrecks and Instagram accounts, www.instagram.com/osbrecks.

There is a Facebook group, Outdoor Swimming in Breckland (not part of the projects). Members of the group meet other swimmers (following Covid19 rules) and learn about swimming in the area. They also 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, and to hear about future events sign up for BFER updates and newsletter here.

map of Brecks area
Brecks area and project area

Downloads high res map (8 mb) from The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme website

NHLF logo, link to website
The National Lottery Heritage Fund website

swims and swim places, and related issues