Wild swimming isn’t a new fashion and is no threat to wildlife | Letters

Pat Simmons and Paul Williams on the pleasures of swimming in rivers, lakes and seas in harmony with nature

Wild swimming “the latest fashionable activity” (Letters, 26 July)? Hardly. Seventy years ago I learned to swim in the River Wey, in the company of other local kids (and a lot of water voles and a pair of nesting swans). Forty-five years ago we spent innumerable happy afternoons with our children swimming and splashing in the River Cherwell at Wolvercote – and there were other popular river bathing places in Oxford. Last week I took my granddaughter swimming in the River Chew. Wild swimming is certainly not a new fashion, though it has become riskier with the current levels of pollution in our rivers and lakes (not very beneficial for kingfishers, either).
Pat Simmons
Bristol

• I’ve been swimming locally for five years. Most of the year I’m accompanied by seals, otters, geese, oystercatchers and a variety of other seabirds. In summer, the campervans roll in. Their owners don’t swim, but the wildlife disappears – so don’t blame the swimmers for disturbing wildlife.
Paul Williams
Argyll, Scotland

Have an opinion on anything you’ve read in the Guardian today? Please email us your letter and it will be considered for publication.

Letters

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Country diary: wild swimming in the eye of the beast | Country diary
Gormire lake, Sutton Bank, North Yorkshire: They say the lake is bottomless, a portal to hell, full of leeches – but swimmers love it

Amy-Jane Beer

04, Jul, 2020 @4:30 AM

Article image
Swimmers and anglers should unite now to campaign for clean rivers | Letter
Letter: Margaret Dickinson on the polluted Wharfe, London’s oversubscribed swimming ponds and the urgent need to demand action as we leave the EU

Letters

22, Jan, 2020 @5:33 PM

Article image
'Wild swimming'? We used to just call it swimming | Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett
I love outdoor bathing, but I object to its appropriation by a privileged urban elite, says Guardian columnist Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett

29, Jan, 2020 @8:00 AM

Article image
Country diary: a dip in this chilly lake is an ephemeral pleasure
Llyn Dinas, Snowdonia: The water is glass-clear in the shallows, then peaty-brown. Small fish investigate my toes

Sara Hudston

29, Aug, 2019 @4:30 AM

Article image
Safer swimming for people and wildlife
Letters: Margaret Dickinson on improving schools’ swimming curriculum. Isabella Stone and Richard Harley on splashing about among endangered wildlife

Letters

03, Aug, 2021 @4:35 PM

Article image
The Hudson River is full of urban myths | Letter
Letter: Patrick Carroll recalls the warnings that grown-ups used to give him and other West Side boys

Letters

10, Oct, 2019 @5:01 PM

Article image
Counting the cost of wild swimming | Letter
Letters: Kika Everington says peaceful havens for wildlife are being disturbed by the latest fashionable activity

Letters

26, Jul, 2021 @4:00 PM

Article image
Country diary: a winter swim, and a bolt of blue
Otley, West Yorkshire: The radiant blaze of cyan down the back of the kingfisher hardly seems to belong to this planet

Carey Davies

15, Mar, 2021 @5:30 AM

Article image
Country diary: England’s deepest lake offers a trance-inducing swim
Wasdale, Lake District: My girlfriend slips in first, sending perfect circles rippling out across the clear pane of the water

Carey Davies

21, Aug, 2020 @4:30 AM

Article image
Country diary: wildfowlers threaten marsh and its wildlife
Tywyn, Gwynedd: Farmers and landowners are fighting to protect this river idyll

Jim Perrin

17, Oct, 2020 @4:30 AM