Wild swimmers were disappointed to hear at the weekend that after deciding to put years of prejudice towards open water swimming aside, the opening of a bathing beach at Rutland Water was to be postponed.
The two year drought and water levels as low as the summer of 1976 meant that the opening would have to be delayed until at least 2013.
The Outdoor swimming Society reported: “Anglian Water Services… are still committed to opening the bathing beach, and some clearance work for the beach has already been done, but they want to wait till next year before spending any more funds on infrastructure works (signage, buoys, delivery of sand, etc) ready for an opening in 2013.”
However water levels have now risen significantly. Kevin Appleton: Visitor Operations Manager contacted me today, explaining that “the project has been delayed at the moment and a decision was taken to postpone the opening due to low water levels currently being experienced in the drought conditions. The rainfall in April has allowed us to fill the reservoir to its current levels as you have mentioned. However, this does not alleviate the drought conditions in the region and unless we continue to get consistent rainfall over the coming months and winter we will expect the reservoir levels to start to fall again. At this time we are carefully considering our options before making any decisions on opening the beach this year.”
Let us hope that we will be able to celebrate the freedom to swim in Rutland Water in this special Jubilee Olympic year.
If you are puzzled by the attitude to open water or wild swimming here in England, you may enjoy reading the history of open water swimming