Wild swimmers have submitted plans to create an inland beach at a lake in Rickmansworth.

Molly Fletcher has led the campaign to bring wild swimming back to Bury Lake since her swimming club were denied access to the lake by Three Rivers Council in 2006.

Mrs Fletcher said: “It used to be that hundreds would swim there, and everyone was quite happy sharing the lake.

"There are 23 lakes and three are for sailing but none for swimming. I don’t get why they have to have it to themselves.”

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The lake is used by Bury Lake Young Mariners to run courses for children and adults using both sailboats and powerboats.

Club trustee Graham Thomas said: “We don’t have swimming at Bury Lake on health and safety grounds.”

Watford Observer:

Bury Lake when it was open to swimmers

Previous attempts to reintroduce swimming have been denied by the council due to algae, wildlife, contamination and the risk of swimmers dangerously entering the sailing area.

The campaign argues such issues are not unique to swimming and disputes that the lake is unsafe. Mrs Fletcher said: “A judge recently said it’s more dangerous getting on the bus than swimming in a pond. Since 2003 you don’t even have to have a lifeguard.

Watford Observer:

Molly Fletcher with her mother swimming at a lake

“The quality was the same when hundreds of swimmers used to swim there in the past.”

Swimmers previously only sought access to the lake, but on Tuesday, May 10 the campaigners sent a new proposal to Three Rivers Council inspired by Frensham Great Pond.

At Frensham, Surrey, sand was laid down to create a man-made beach that attracts many tourists from London and brings residents out to both swim and sail in the summer sun.

It is proposed that the council could do the same at Bury Lake.

Watford Observer:

A Watford Observer article about the campaign from 2007

The push has been further emboldened by an ongoing case in Hampstead Heath where disabled swimmers have been granted a judicial review into pond access for swimmers.

It is also hoped three local triathlon clubs which currently have to travel to Hyde Park will be able to make use of the lake. 

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