Woodberry Down reservoir now open to swimmers all year round

Open water swimming is now available all year round at West Reservoir Sports Centre in Woodberry Dow

Open water swimming is now available all year round at West Reservoir Sports Centre in Woodberry Down. Picture: West Reservoir Centre - Credit: West Reservoir Centre

Woodberry Down’s West Reservoir is launching its first ever Winter Swimming programme.

The 36-hectare reservoir is usually closed to open water swimming in October and does not reopen until the following May.

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However, a surge in demand from outdoor swimmers during the summer, after swimming pools closed due to the coronavirus lockdown, has led to a decision to keep the reservoir open to swimmers during the winter as well.

Ricky McMinn, community leisure facility operator Better’s General Manager at West Reservoir said: “This summer we experienced unprecedented demand from swimmers, many taking to the open water for the first time, as a result of the Coronavirus restrictions.

“With so many converts to the open water, we want to ensure they are able to continue to enjoy their open water swims year round.”

Ricky says, in addition to remaining open, a number of new initiatives are “in the pipeline” including new activities, competitions and races during the colder months, as well as a course introducing swimmers to the open water.

Health and leisure chief, Cllr Chris Kennedy added: “We’ve been working closely with Better to safely open up as many facilities as we can during the pandemic so people can keep active and healthy.

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“All-year swimming at West Reservoir is one way that we can welcome more people to our facilities, with the huge benefits to health that open water swimming can bring.”

Winter opening hours will run Monday to Friday during daylight hours and on weekends from sunrise until early afternoon.

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Anyone taking a dip in the reservoir should be an experienced open water swimmer because of the additional challenges when swimming at lower temperatures.

The activity is said to have a variety of health benefits and recent research from Cambridge University has even suggested swimming in cold water can help stave off dementia.

Visitors will be given a briefing about swimming at colder temperatures when they arrive at the reservoir with staff ready to give additional safety advice to those who need it.

The cost per session is £10 for non-members and £5 for Better members.

Monthly membership at West Reservoir costs £32.50 and includes access to all Better operated swimming venues across the UK.

For more information click here