I moved to Edinburgh from London in August 2017 to undertake a masters in Outdoor Environmental & Sustainability Education. I set this group up shortly after arriving in Edinburgh with the aim of meeting some like-minded people who enjoy open water and wild swimming, and to discover some wild swimming locations across Scotland, be it a river, in the sea, a lake or waterfall.
Our swimming experiences will be more about enjoying being in the water, exploring a connection to nature and landscape, meeting new people, and seeing the world from a slightly different perspective, rather than any epically long swims covered in vaseline. Think more along the lines of Roger Deakins Waterlog than Martin Strel who swam the length of the amazon. However, some may be more challenging than others so you will need to be a competent swimmer ready to take responsibility for your own safety and be fully prepared to be cold!
I will be arranging some swims from February 2019 onwards. Some might be arranged at fairly short notice and be dependent on the weather and others more in advance and potentially with some overnight trips. There may also be a request for people to nominate themselves as drivers – thank you!
I am a keen open water and wild swimmer and through my studies and research I am exploring connections between water, swimming, identity, wellness and sense of place. I feel passionate about the educational potential of drawing these elements together to foster positive relationships with nature and our aquatic environment through immersive learning experiences. If you are nervous about getting into wild swimming, I also lead guided swimming experiences for individuals or small groups looking to explore and find connection to self, others and with nature. If you would like to find out more, please contact me.
A few things about safety as swimming is not a risk-free activity:
- Everyone takes part at their own risk - Don't get too cold - warm up with exercise and warm clothes before and after a swim. Make sure you have enough warm clothes & a hot drink! - It takes many swims to get used to the cold. Get out before you feel super cold. Don't worry if others are still happily swimming around. Advice on warming up from the OSS (https://www.outdoorswimmingsociety.com/warming-up-after-drop/). - Don't jump into water you have not thoroughly checked for depth and obstructions - Always make sure you know how you will get out before you get in and try to remain in sight of the group - Wear footwear if you can, neoprene swimming socks are great - Keep cuts and wounds covered with waterproof plasters if you are concerned