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4.4 Healing Waters: Breathe in The Brecks

Providing opportunities for communities to reconnect to the landscape and heritage through a programme of healthy outdoor activities.

Delivery Lead Organisation: BFER Team / Imogen Radford (Volunteer and Outdoor Swimming Society representative) / West Stow Country Park


Discover more about Outdoor Swimming in the Brecks, including swim safety tips, at the:

Imogen’s River Swims Blog



To provide opportunities for communities to reconnect to the landscape and heritage through a programme of healthy outdoor activities

To engage people in healthy outdoor activities, including learning to enjoy the waters safely and with care for the environment; and in mapping, recognising, establishing and publicising suitable places to swim or for other recreational uses of the rivers

To provide opportunities for those audience most in need, and ‘hard to engage’ audiences in supported and fun outdoor activities.

To create sustainable, mutually beneficial partnerships and links between BFER partners, heritage organisations and local and regional public health providers, support groups and charities.


This project will connect communities to the Landscape through a programme of community health focussed activity. It will engage with a wide range of audiences, but elements will focus on, supporting those with mental and physical health issues, and those who are socially isolated or excluded through illness or addiction. Activities will include the creation, conservation and restoration of wetland, riparian woodland, and wild space as well as more traditional accessible outdoor activities.

It will seek to push at increasingly opening doors at NHS trusts and other health care providers to create new links and partnership to benefit communities. It will link with GPs, Health support groups and County initiates including Active Norfolk and Active Suffolk. It will provide the basis for the BFER scheme’s ‘Health Benefits’ monitoring and evaluation aspirations by providing an evidence base for demonstrating the benefits of outdoor activities.

This project will also engage people with outdoor swimming in the Brecks through a series of swimming events, and training of volunteer Open Water Swimming lifeguards. It will engage with a variety of audiences to reconnect people to the joy of swimming outdoors, enabling them to enjoy the water safely and to mitigate risks.

If you’d like to get involved in this project contact us for more information or to be added to the project mailing list:


4.4a People Engaged

329 People engaged with Open water Swimming Events


4.4a Workshops and Training

15 Training/ Educational Events and Workshops


4.4b BFER Volunteers

60 Volunteers Engaging with BFER health and wellbeing events