Open Water Swimming At Lenches Lakes

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

Swim Prices – £5 per session.  We accept Debit and Credit cards

You can download our Swimmer Information Documentation here > Swimmer Welcome Information

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.


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.


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.


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.  All swimmers  must sign out with the Registration Officer.

Revised Course

  • If the water temperature is below 11°C the swim will be cancelled.
  • If blue green algae are present in the swim area the activity will be cancelled.
  • If the prevailing winds/weather creates hazardous conditions for the swimmers and/or safety team the course will be reduced in length or the session cancelled.
  • In the event of mist or fog affecting visibility, the start of the session will be delayed until the whole course and swimmers can be seen clearly.
  • Reduced course layout if reduced safety resources

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
  • If this is your first session at Lenches Lakes received or read online the Swimmer Welcoming Information
  • 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 from safety team will be sounded the paddle board spotter will guide you towards the nearest safe exit point, please then walk back to the start, return numbered wrist band to Session Leader and sign out with Registration Officer

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