Nature Watch: Open swim a real spectacle
- Credit: Archant
The West Reservoir Centre may have been the saving grace of the summer.
Having lived in both Hackney and Haringey for many years, I used the structureless days of lockdown to explore the wonders of the Woodberry Wetlands, bursting with wonderful birdlife and wild hedgerows.
Even though I have dabbled in open water swimming over the years, I’m no Roger Deakin and usually stick to the usual safe spots via word-of-mouth. However, the prospect of exploring Britain’s rivers and coast-lines from a “frog’s eye view” does appeal.
As I make my way along the New River Path on a bright October morning, the impressive 1930s structure of the West Reservoir Centre peaks out over the top of cascading birch, willow and oak trees that are starting to turn. I feel a buzz of excitement as little red swimming caps bob along in the water.
I arrive for my 11.20am slot and overhear the conversation of two hardcore swimmers in front of me, discussing the open water swim podcast, Swim Out. After changing into my wetsuit I make my way to the jetty and push off into the lake.
The water is very cold but my body temperature begins to adjust as I get into my stride. It is both unnerving and freeing not being able to see underwater; I feel suspended in space as my limbs cast out into the black expanse. This immediate contact with nature reminds me of my tiny insignificance in the world. Here, I am her guest.
- 1 'Shock and sadness' after news GP practice will close
- 2 Business owners concerned by twice-burgled Stamford Hill shop
- 3 South Hackney stabbing: Woman arrested and man left fighting for his life
- 4 Chance of snow in London this weekend
- 5 EXCLUSIVE: Planet Organic responds to backlash about incoming Broadway Market store
- 6 Worries at lights shutting off around Hackney
- 7 Which Underground lines are affected today
- 8 Things to do in north London: Christmas markets, workshops and more this weekend
- 9 Missing girl, 11, could be in Hackney
- 10 Covid-19: How Hackney's current figures compare to November 2020 lockdown