An exciting opportunity to try out outdoor swimming in the Brecks, in a safe and friendly session with qualified lifeguards, trainers and experienced swimmers. This Introduction to Outdoor Swimming event is funded by the National Heritage Lottery Fund, as part of the BFER Healing Waters Project.
Outdoor swimming, sometimes called wild swimming, is having a revival in popularity, but unfamiliarity over recent decades has led to fears and misunderstandings about its safety and impact. It is a fun and affordable activity with many benefits for health.
A key part of this project is to give people an opportunity to give it a go and to equip them to understand safety for themselves.
The training is for anyone aged 13 and above who is new to swimming outdoors or who would like to have a go, and either swims in the Brecks area or would like to in future. (The project area is shown with a black dotted line on the map here, https://brecks.org/bfer/key-documents/bfer-scheme-area-map/).
We will have professional lifeguards and trainer, supported by trained volunteers. We will have full insurance, and will do water quality testing in advance. And all aspects of the sessions will be run in line with the latest appropriate Covid-19 guidance.
You need to be able to swim a little and to have some confidence in water (whether indoors or outdoors). Entry to and exit from the water is from the bank, down a gradual slope which could be muddy.
We will contact you before the event to complete appropriate paperwork and to give you information in advance about potential risks, clothing, equipment. We recommend that you bring shoes that you can wear in the water. We will do a full risk assessment in liaison with the land manager for the venue.
A key purpose of the Healing Waters project is to promote and to study the benefits of engaging with nature and outdoor activity. So throughout this and the other projects in the BFER scheme we will be asking participants about their experiences before and after project activities. So we would like your permission to contact you after the event to follow up. We will keep contact information in compliance with data protection legislation, and not pass it to third parties.
We would like you to answer four questions in advance of the session, which will be very useful for us in planning the training. They will help us to pick up on your concerns, fears and hopes, to make sure that you get the most out of the event. Once your place is confirmed, we will send you a link to the short online survey, or you can email your replies if that isn’t possible.
It is possible that emails from us will go into your spam folder or similar, so do check it regularly.
The training session will be held in the river Lark at Jubilee Fields, Jubilee Way, Mildenhall, West Suffolk, IP28 7HG
Swim entry point and reception point
Nearest Post Code IP28 7HG
Nat Grid TL713743
Parking (2.1 m barrier, free parking; or in Sainsbury’s for max 2h)
Nearest Post Code IP28 7HG
Nat Grid TL712744
The river Lark is one of the important waterways in the Brecks area, and is due to be improved as part of the BFER scheme. You can read more about the changes for Mildenhall here, https://www.imogensriverswims.co.uk/blog/river-lark-and-mildenhall-changes-and-swimmers/ and about The River Lark Partnership, which brings together people who care about the river and volunteers who help to look after it here, http://riverlark.org.uk/index.php/about/.
The event is part of the Healing Waters project, supported by the National Heritage Lottery Fund.
Healing Waters, one of the BFER projects, will engage people in outdoor swimming and other watery activities 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 more about the Healing Waters project at https://www.imogensriverswims.co.uk/blog/os-brecks-2/healing-waters-project-outline/
The Brecks Fen Edge and Rivers Landscape Partnership Scheme (BFER) is a group of government and non-government agencies and interest groups working together, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The Scheme is a collection of 24 innovative projects focusing on water related heritage & landscape, to be delivered by a wide range of partners. Read more at http://www.brecks.org/BFER/
Contact for more information about the event
Imogen Radford, email@example.com