Open Water Swimming At Lenches Lakes (2020)

Update June 15th

Thank you to all that have made this opening week safe and sound. We are happy to say we can increase the number of swimmers per session from 12 to 15 . I have just altered Eventbrite site hence 60 more swim tickets are available per week – i hope this eases some frustrated swimmers . If respect for distancing is continued we will hopefully up the numbers once more in a week or two.

Please may we remind all that spectators are not encouraged on lakeside . Walking around the lakes and woodland is not now permitted – Covid 19 measures ask that only swimmers are on site.

You arrive – you swim – you depart .

Our apologies if this sounds harsh/unwelcoming , we have been advised on our Covid 19 safety practices and must adhere to them .

Junior Policy – Our present Junior policy welcomes 14 year olds and upwards – this is a newly brought in Covid 19 measure reducing risk for water safety team . Having had numerous junior inquiries we ran a trial session for Juniors i.e under 14 yrs. this (Sat) morning. Criteria for attending is that the child must either be a strong swim club swimmer and/or have open water swimming experience. This session is not a coaching session .

The sessions provides an opportunity for juniors to experience open water swimming in Lenches Lakes, swim the various courses that vary from 60 m to 350m with the close presence of lifeguards on kayaks .

Adults are asked to stay on lakeside , chatting to swimmers whilst session is in progress is discouraged . If our water safety team feel the junior swimmer is comfortable in our lake and will not increase risk to lifeguards unduly they will be welcome to join the regular session with an accompanying competent adult swimmer.

All juniors to wear wetsuit and swim with a tow float.

We are happy to organise another trial session for under 14 ‘s if enough are interested – The session price is £8 and lasts up to 60 minutes dependent on stamina of swimmers. Please email us if you have you have an interested juniors. mail@lencheslakes.co.uk or phone 01386 871035

Please read the information below before booking

Thank you 

Amanda

We are delighted that Open Water Swimming is now back, albeit in a somewhat altered format. Advance online booking is essential and you MUST complete the online Swimmers Responsibility Statement before your first swim. This form only needs to be completed once.

Online Bookings and Payment in advance only – £8 per hour swim. Please do not arrive on site without pre booking and paying, there is no facility for refunds for missed or late to arrive for session.

Swim Sessions are:-
Monday 07.00-11.00 HRS and 16.00 – 20.00 hrs
Thursday 07.00-11.00 HRS and 16.00 – 20.00 hrs
Saturdays 08.00 -12.00 noon

Swimmers may book hourly slots. Please arrive onsite/in car park field no more than 15 mins prior to beginning of their time slot. The walk to Lakeside 5 minutes before the Session starts.

Presently there is a maximum of 12 swimmers per one hour slot, if you want a longer endurance swim please book two consecutive slots.

Car Parking

Please follow signs to Car Parking field

Please park alongside a Covid-19 Parking Poss in field t – all are spaced with ample spacing allowing a minimum of 2 m spacing between vehicles

Drivers/spectators are to stay in car /car park respecting social distancing- no spectators on lakeside

Follow the one way system back to the main road. Please note when exiting the Car Park Field you will be join a track which is a public footpath – please drive cautiously at 5 mph being alert for dogs, walkers and
oncoming vehicles.

Changing

Please change by or in your car.

Please note Lenches Lakes staff unable to help zip up wetsuits

All changing and shower facilities are closed

Toilets – remain open, heavily used areas such as cubicles doors, handles, flush panels , and toilet door are disinfected regularly

Swimmers

All swimmers must wear a bright hat and gloves. Gloves worn to reduce risk of infection from holding onto Entry/Exit Rail.

Non Wetsuit Swimmers must swim with a tow float, Wet suit swimmers encouraged to wear a tow float

To help customers enjoy the open water experience safely, swimmers will be asked to complete an online Swimmer Responsibility and Registration document which covers key safety and welfare information – this document is only required once at the start of each summer season.

Please complete online prior to attending your first session.

Swimmers will each receive a Lenches Lakes Swimmers Card with relevant safety details, this card will be required each swim to enable Lenches Lakes maintain good safety practices.

Please be aware of Covid -19 Symptoms; do not come on site if you or a member of your household are displaying any symptoms.

  • a high temperature – you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not necessarily need to take your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than your norm, if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Car Parking

  • each car to park alongside a post which is a minimum of 2m away from another car.
  • Bikes – lakeside plenty of trees to lean against
  •  All changing to be carried out by /in car

Pre / Post Swim

  • Pre-swim – Cover any open wounds
  • Post-swim – Showering in fresh water, rinsing and clean ALL swimming equipment and washing hands prior to eating and drinking.
  • Report any sudden illness post swim to Lenches Lakes as soon as possible
  • Seek professional medical attention clearly stating swimmer has been swimming in open water.
  • Wetsuit Policy
  • Swimmers to wear wetsuits or non-wetsuit swimmers must swim with a tow float

Swimmers under 18 years of age

Lenches Lakes and SH2OUT supports the provision of open water swimming opportunities for children who wish to participate from the age when they are confident and competent swimmers.

Prior to Covid-19 we welcomed children of all ages who were competent
swimmers. With Covid-19 in order to minimise risk for both staff and others swimming we have a new junior policy in place.

14 years to 18 years of age

Participation is subject to:-

  • Tow Float necessary for all under 18 years swimmers
  • Swimmer must have previous Open Water experience and/or strong Club Swimmer
  • Each junior if unknown to Safety Team will be assessed for competency by Session Leader.
  • If Session Leader deems them to be a high-risk swimmer the swimmer will be asked to leave the lake.
  • Parent/legal guardian permission, Swimmer Responsibility & Registration document must be signed and completed by parent/guardian
  • The swimmer being accompanied on site by a responsible adult aged 18 or over / a member of the same household.
  • Covid-19 measures require accompanying adult to stay in car/car park.
  • Lifeguards or Land Based safety team will politely ask weak swimmers to leave the session or restrict swimmer to acclimatisation area if swimmer safety is comprised.

OWL – Open Water Lifeguard Qualification

New Date To Be Arranged – Click Here For Details

OWL – RPL Open Water Lifeguard Qualification (NPLQ holders only)

New Date To Be Arranged – Click Here For Details

Summer Open Water Swimming At Lenches Lakes (2019)

Spring Lake hosts Open Water Swimming from April/May onwards, when the water hits 11 degrees Celsius – the season closes when water temperatures fall below 11 degrees hopefully at end of September / October

Lenches Lakes works with Sh2out, The Royal Life Saving Society and British Triathlon to maintain accredition in recognition of water safety for both swimmers and safety team and we are a Sh2out accredited venue.

  • Monday and Thursday evening from 18.00 to 20.00hrs
  • Saturday mornings 10.00 – 12.00hrs

Please read the Swimmer Responsibility Statement which you will be asked to complete and sign before swimming.

Lakes/ woodland /field / whole site available for hire to host Club events , Events, Coaching Training sessions . Hourly, half day, day, or two day events . please  contact us for details.

Venue Description

The Lenches Lakes open water swim sessions welcome all swimmers – triathletes, recreational swimmers and will also provide an opportunity for swimmers to train for endurance challenges. We welcome all abilities and allow swimmers to swim at their own pace around a buoyed course.

Each session has a full safety team both Land and Water based which enables a 350m course. Each session enables swimmers to complete as many or as few circuits as they prefer.

There is capacity for up to a maximum of 60 swimmers in the water at any one time, this will depend on the minimum safety cover available at the session. Once the capacity has been reached, no further swimmers can enter the water until space becomes available.

Disability Swimming

The course design will not require change for swimmers with walking difficulties. Access via regular entry point. If other entry point is required, it must be previously agreed with the session leader.

Swimmers under 18 years

Rather than recommend an arbitrary age, Lenches Lakes and SH2OUT supports the provision of open water swimming opportunities for children who wish to participate from the age when they are confident and competent swimmers.

Under 12 Years

Participation is subject to:

  • Parent/legal guardian permission. Swimmer Responsibility Statement signed and completed by parent/guardian
  • A competency test – a tow float may be suggested by session leader in addition to adult accompanying them
  • The swimmer being accompanied in and out of the water by a responsible adult aged 18 or over

12 – 16 Years

Participation is subject to:

  • Parent/legal guardian permission, Swimmer Responsibility Statement signed and completed by parent/guardian
  • A competency test – Session Leader may suggest Tow Float
  • The swimmer being accompanied on site by a responsible adult aged 18 or over

16 – 18 Years

  • Participation is subject to:
  • Parent/legal guardian permission- Swimmer Responsibility Statement signed and completed by parent/guardian
  • A competency test
  • 16yrs plus to have Swimmer Responsibility statement signed and completed by parent/ guardian

The Lifeguards are present as an emergency service not a regular support crew.

Lifeguards or Land Based safety team will politely ask weak swimmers to leave the session or restrict swimmer to acclimatisation area if swimmer safety is comprised.

Wetsuit Policy

Swimmers to wear wetsuits or non-wetsuit swimmers must swim with a tow float.

Parking

We have a small car park, extension imminent , meanwhile we ask all swimmers to follow temporary signs to  large mown area in field.

Bikes – we do not have racks, we have trees! Please bring security chain with you.

Changing

We have two changing tents ( Female/Male ).

Please bear in mind we do not have lockers,

  • please do not bring valuable items
  • or use a tow float with dry bag incorporated for phones/keys/wallets.
  • Or lock valuables in car

We have a toilet block and two snazzy showers. The shower costs £1 and last 4 long minutes. As the season progresses we hope to have a summer cold shower outside –similar to the ones you find at beaches.

Refreshments

There is a Help yourself service for ; teas, coffee, hot chocolate,  squash. Cake and flapjacks available at evening sessions, breakfast porridge and bacon/sausage and egg sandwiches available after morning sessions.

Plus small Tuck Shop various snack bars , crisps and Porky Scratching’s !! along with cans of Coke, lemonade, Tango.

We are licenced and offer Beer, Cider, Wine

Water Temperature

The water temperature will be routinely recorded each week throughout the swimming season and prior to each swim session. The current temperature will be clearly shown at check-in on the update board

  • Below 11C NO swimming to take place
  • 11 – 12.9C Swimmers must wear a wetsuit or swim with a tow float. Swimmers allowed to swim a maximum of 2 laps before they are assessed by session leader if they wish to continue for a further lap
  • 13 – 21.9C Swimmers must wear a wetsuit or swim with a tow float
  • 22 C + Swimmers must wear a wetsuit or swim with a tow float. Swimmers will be advised about staying hydrated and to consider not wearing a wetsuit
  • 28 C+ No wetsuits – swimmer to swim with a tow float. Swimmers will be advised about staying hydrated
  • 32 deg C+ Session cancelled

Water Quality

  • The Lenches Lakes are spring fed . Water quality testing is carried out .This includes representative water sampling for PH, Enterobacter, bacterial contamination.
  • Daily visual checks for cyanobacteria (blue green algae) and other waterborne pathogens, should any visual abnormalities or concerns occur the water will be tested.
  • Due to the potential of Weil’s disease within the water all swimmers are advised against swimming with open wounds and to cover minor cuts with waterproof plasters.
  • NOTE: In the event of the water quality not meeting EU bathing standards for bacterial contamination or blue green algae is present within the swimming area swimming will not take place.

Course Evacuation

In the event of the course having to be evacuated due to deteriorating weather or a medical emergency

The session leader sounds the air horn to alert swimmers to evacuate the lake. Swimmers swim directly to one  of the two swimmer evacuation points assisted by Lifeguard and Spotter. 

Before Swimming

Before your swim session please ensure that

  • Swimmers responsibility statement signed and given to Registration Officer
  • If medication if left with Registration Officer please ensure it is clearly labelled with your name and name of medication
  • Pre-swim – Cover any open wounds
  • Paid the registration officer for your session
  • Moving around the site – it is a soft grass site you may like to wear footwear.
  • Make sure you are aware where the first aid point is .
  • Do not enter the water until instructed to do so.
  • Raising the alarm. Turn on back – Raise arm in the air/shout.
  • If you notice someone in difficulty – raise the alarm
  • Course Evacuation – An air horn will be sounded,  exit lake at nearest exit point, walk back to the entry point, return numbered wrist band to Swim Board and sign out with Registration.

After Swimming

  • Showering in fresh water, rinsing and clean ALL swimming equipment and washing hands prior to eating and drinking.
  • Report any sudden illness post swim to Lenches Lakes as soon as possible
  • Seek professional medical attention clearly stating swimmer has been swimming in open water

Winter Open Water Swimming at Lenches Lakes

Generally begins during September when the water is 11 degrees Celsius – April

Winter 2019 /2020 was our first Winter season and we loved it!

Two Sessions a week Thursday and Saturday mornings. 10.00 am – 11.15. Cold Water Swimming involves many safety procedures for Swimmers and Staff.

All Swimmers intending to swim in cold water at Lenches Lakes MUST attend a Classroom based Induction Session. We take swimmer safety and comfort very seriously the Induction Session will give us the opportunity to fully inform, advise and  ensure Swimmers are aware of all that   Cold Water Swimming encompasses.

In addition you are advised to visit your GP to carry out an ECG and have blood pressure checked .

Presently the cost is £7.50