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Posts Tagged ‘Environment’

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The New – Can I swim here? app…

Stuff.co.nz reports: Swimmers in New Zealand are now able to check online or via a new app to see if the beach or river they want to visit has clean swimming water.

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Regular testing at times when swimmers most often frequent bathing places, make this real-time information invaluable, setting a new standard of transparency for swimmers living in or visiting the country. More…

 

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The Mirror reports: “Almost seven in 10 of bathing sites in England now meet ‘excellent’ standard set out by the EU…”

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In 2016, 287 beaches and inland swimming sites in the country met the tough top standards set out in the European Union’s Bathing Water Directive (69.5%), and 407 out of the 413 spots assessed passed the minimum grade.

But six bathing waters failed to meet even minimum standards: Scarborough South Bay, Yorkshire; Clacton (Groyne 41), Essex; Walpole Bay, Margate, Kent; Instow, Devon; Ilfracombe Wildersmouth, Devon; and Burnham Jetty North, Somerset.

The figures, which look at results for water quality over the last four years, are an improvement on 2015, the first year of results under the new EU system , when 63.6% of beaches met excellent standards.

This is partly due to improvements being made in infrastructure at or near bathing sites in recent years, which has helped reduce pollution and cut levels of harmful bacteria in swimming spots that can make people ill.

But this year’s figures are also better than 2015 because of more favourable weather conditions.

Better weather reduces the risk of overflows from sewers and storm drains and the amount of urban and agricultural pollutants washing down to the sea when there is heavy rainfall.

The 2015 results include the very wet summer of 2012, which saw water quality at bathing sites drop.

Environment Secretary Andrea Leadsom said: “England’s bathing waters are enjoyed by millions of people every year, which is why I am delighted the water quality at our beaches and lakes is better than at any time since before the Industrial Revolution. More…

 

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EUobserver reports: Copenhagen is one of the only cities in Europe where the harbour water is again clean enough to swim in.

The city has built three popular harbour baths – a new type of city-beach for people to swim, sunbathe, and cool off on hot summer days.

A 2-kilometre race in the canals around the Danish parliament in August saw a record 3,600 participants this year.

During the last decade, the harbour baths have also become popular with tourists. They are the most visible result of a deliberate decision in the municipality to move polluting industry out of the harbour, and to clean all waste water before it reaches the sea.

The harbour baths are open 24/7 and many people living in the city centre have taken up the habit of a morning swim before heading to work.

There is no entry fee. Anyone is free to jump in and to enjoy the feeling of pumping blood, tickling skin and the salty taste of sea water.

Swimming around parliament

A 2-kilometre race in the canals around the Danish parliament in August saw a record 3,600 participants this year. Some 230 came from abroad to take part.

For swimmers, the race offers a very different perspective of the city and its old parliament building, Christiansborg. For tourists, who gathered on the city’s bridges and wharfs, clapping and photographing, it offers the unusual sight of swimmers splashing in city canals.

“The water is really clean, I saw streams of small fish and jellyfish when passing Knippelsbridge,” Julia Winklewski told EUobserver…

The water temperature is 20C in August, but in winter the harbour can be covered by ice.

Despite freezing temperatures, winter swimming is a popular activity among Danes. Some 11,000 people are registered members of winter swimming clubs around the country, with many more on waiting lists. Swimming is believed to improve people’s health and their quality of life. Read more…

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It is against the law to swim in the canals of Venice, however water lovers can choose from a number of nearby swimming locations. The Lido teems with swimmers and sunbathers throughout the summer months, but for those looking for a quieter swim catch a water bus to the island of Saint Erasmo (service 13 or 18).

Wild Swimming in Venice

High tide is best for swimming.

Wild Swimming on the Island of Saint Erasmo, Venice

The Island of Saint Erasmo Venice

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A new company has been set up to help canoeists and swimmers enjoy the pleasures of our rivers through river access – for all.

There are estimated to be 42,700 miles of river in the U.K. but only 1,400 have a clear and undisputed right of public access.

To remedy the problem a concerted effort is being made to overcome harassment and prejudice by enforcing the law. To visit the website click on the image below…

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Click on the picture below to download an A4 poster…

Poster

Read the 2,000 year history of swimming in the UK

 

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As part of the Hillingdon Improvement Programme, Hillingdon Council is undertaking a major enhancement project to improve access and facilities at Ruislip Lido.

Beach bathing area

Officers continue to work up feasibility proposals for bathing at Ruislip Lido. Meetings have been held throughout the summer with operators of other open water sites to discuss site similarities and operational policies, including management and required resources. The information received will be collated along with the January to December 2012 water testing analysis and a decision made based on the outcome in 2013. If it is safe to consider bathing at Ruislip Lido, the Council will also look at enhancing the beach area as part of the work programme.

 

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The NHS has released a set of guidelines highlighting the health hazards faced by the growing number of open water swimmers. At the top of the list: jellyfish stings, followed by shark attacks and sewage in the sea. Sensible advice is included from the River and Lake Swimming Association which states:

  • Only swim in rivers and lakes if you’re a good swimmer.
  • Don’t jump or dive in.
  • If in doubt, don’t go in water that’s too deep to stand up in.
  • Don’t swim after drinking alcohol or eating a heavy meal.
  • Never swim alone, in case you need help.

Advice is given on how to find clean beaches and fresh water areas and the slight risk of other diseases. The information page fails to not mention the health risks faced by swimmers using man-made pools and conspicuous by its absence; the risk of drowning is omitted altogether. More…

For advice on teaching children about open water safety please visit: SWIM SAFE

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