01st June, 2020

  • Swim local – visit nearby places. Cycle or walk where possible
  • Litter pick – in and out of the water. Pack rubbish sacks/ gloves/ empty tow float
  • Reduce crowding – consider swimming early or later in the day. If it’s crowded, be prepared to go home 
  • Social distance – follow advice at all times 
  • Think twice before sharing – for the time being, don’t tag locations on social media 
  • Stay safe – and respect the local environment and people at all times
  • Avoid honeypots – avoid iconic and idyllic spots, and those known to be overwhelmed
  • Think small – if you usually swim in a group, consider swimming with fewer people than usual

See the Outdoor Swimmers Code and further information on swimming in rivers, lakes and sea. In England, pools are due to reopen on the 1st July, and open water venues may be open or opening soon. 

The Outdoor Swimming Society is based around sharing the swim love and encouraging people to enjoy the joy of swimming in fresh and saltwater.

Everybody wants to be in or near the water in a heat wave, and while that would normally be a great thing, a lot of swim spots are struggling right now with crowds and other environmental damage. Local communities are being swamped by cars and people.

Swim spots are being visited by all the people that might otherwise be somewhere else (school, work, a campsite, a pool, the gym, the pub or on holiday).  

We understand the desire to swim. If you are going swimming, we urge you to follow the guide above. 

The Outdoor Swimming Society is a peer to peer community, and as such we have taken the following additional steps to try and ease the problems lockdown is causing in local communities:

  • Our partner website wildswim.com has been taken offline
  • We have taken content relating to vulnerable swimming spots offline on this website
  • The OSS FB group admins are now approving all posts, and no longer sharing posts asking for location advice – this is a time to stay local, with places already known
  • Local wild swim groups are sharing information via our Network for Group Admins to manage issues in their area, and to help group-think about policies during the pandemic. Local groups largely want to welcome new members, but this is not a good time to meet new people, and do the sort of induction swims that new members involve
  • An OSS volunteer is creating a UK Open Water Training Lakes Directory – with many venues opening up soon, we hope this will help people find water
  • We are engaging with media about hiding articles featuring vulnerable swim spots

Stay home, stay local and stay safe.

Kate Rew, 1st June

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