Outdoor swimming practical project DATES

NHLF logo, link to website
The National Lottery Heritage Fund

Healing Waters, a practical project to promote safe outdoor swimming in Breckland, began with a landowner meeting in March, held the first intro to outdoor swimming session in Sept 2020, the second in June 2021 and is now planning more activities in 2021 and 2022.

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

The project is part of The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER), supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Future dates so far

Coming soon: details on the river survey and mapping strand of the project.
This autumn we will be planning events for next year.

young women on edge of pool; two swimmers doing crawl in a river
Young swimmers; river swimmers

Previous events

12 September 2021 – Introduction to outdoor swimming: have a go, learn how to be safe and have fun. Families and children (morning) adults) afternoon).

Over 80 people in four sessions, including 20 children aged 3-13, were introduced to swimming outdoors, understanding the risks and how to be safe and have fun. This was the last intro event this year, and the fourth in the project. It was held at Lynford Water public lake; event authorised by Forestry England. Volunteers and lifeguards gave an interactive briefing on safety and environmental issues before everyone got in the warm water on a lovely sunny day. Read a report on the day.

15 August 2021 – Introduction to outdoor swimming: have a go, learn how to be safe and have fun for families and children

Qualified lifeguards, assisted by volunteers, introduced over 70 people, from age 3 upwards, to swimming outdoors, understanding the risks and how to be safe and have fun. It was held at Lynford Water public lake (approved by Forestry England) Read a report of the event.

6 June 2021 – Introduction to outdoor swimming: have a go, learn how to be safe and have fun

Qualified trainers and lifeguards, assisted by volunteers, introduced 100 people in the Brecks to swimming outdoors, understanding the risks and how to be safe and have fun.

This was held at Mildenhall Jubilee Fields, thanks to agreement from the Mildenhall High Town Council. Read a report of 6 June event.

More events are planned for 2022, and anyone interested can join our mailing list – Contact me and say you would like updates and to get involved, or to hear about future events in all the BFER projects you can sign up for BFER updates and newsletter here.

16, 23, 29 May 2021 Open Water Lifeguard training . Eleven successfully passed and are now qualified.  It was held near Thetford, open to young people over 16 (by 29 May) living in or near the Brecks, who can swim  400 m fast in a pool and swim confidently under water,  be competent and confident swimming outdoors, and who would be able to pass the theory and practical assessment. This will give career opportunities and the chance to volunteer on later outdoor swimming intro sessions in the project. Since the training lifeguards have volunteered and worked in the project and elsewhere, and some have told us about their experiences.

13 September 2020 – a day of introduction to outdoor swimmingsessions:  ‘have a go, learn how to be safe and have fun’. The first of these training events was very popular and successful. Qualified trainers and lifeguards, supported by volunteers, introduced people in the Breckland area to swimming outdoors, understanding the risks and how to be safe and have fun. Read a report of the day.

More events are planned for 2022, and anyone interested can join our mailing list – Contact me and say you would like updates or to get involved, or to hear about future events in all the BFER projects you can sign up for BFER updates and newsletter here

11 March 2020 – workshop for landowners/land managers, organised jointly with the Visitor Safety Group (a landowner organisation with a body of experience on balancing safety and visitor access).

This was for landowners or managers with rivers or water where people swim or might swim or do other recreation. If you are interested to hear more about involvement in the project (or you know anyone who is), please contact me.

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.

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

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, and read about it here.

The day was organised by the project and the team running The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund), and the Visitor Safety Group.

Summary of the project

Healing Waters will engage people in healthy outdoor activities, including learning to enjoy being in, on or by the water safely and with care for the environment; and in mapping and considering publicising suitable places for swimming or for other recreational uses of the rivers.

We will consult and involve landowners and land managers from the start, to address the concerns that some have about swimming and other watery recreation, and to promote positive benefits. We aim to improve people’s understanding of safe and environmentally friendly behaviours around water, which can to help tackle the issues.

We want to introduce people of all ages to enjoying the water safely and with care for the environment, to allay their fears and misunderstandings and those of parents and authorities, and to equip people to do their own risk assessments and mitigate risks, and to have fun. We will also be providing training to young people on safety, life-saving and lifeguarding.

More detail on the projects on this website and about all the BFER projects on The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme website, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Please contact me with any questions, or to sign up for updates. More on how to get involved on this website.

You might also be interested in the latest on the Tales from the River project, Swim history project plans 2021.

display panel with text and photos
Display panel 3: Healing Waters (used at Conference March 2019)
Logo with stylised river and pines, link to BFER website
The Brecks Fen Edge & Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme
NHLF logo, link to website
The National Lottery Heritage Fund

swims and swim places, and related issues