184 Bathers at Sheep’s Green

Success! Having counted 184 bathers on Saturday 19 August, and 237 on Thursday 10th August, we now have the evidence we need to show Defra that there are sufficient bathers to qualify for Bathing Water Designation

Although it was a breezy day, so not as inviting for swimming as our previous count on Thursday 10th August, we still achieved well over Defra’s threshold of a minimum of an average of 100 bathers/ day, counted over 4 hours on the 2 busiest days of summer. Few people stay in long, so the river never felt busy.

It was a lovely afternoon, watching people enjoying themselves, and chatting with the swimmers.

This is an important place for people to come to for exercise
Artistic Swimming at Sheep’s Green

As it was a weekend, there were more punts, canoes and paddleboarders out on the river, than during the week, but everyone mixes along. Unfortunately Defra only allow us to count people as “bathers” if they actually go in the water at Sheep’s Green… But some did!

Wild swimming is a minority activity so, as usual, Lammas Land a few hundred meters away, was way busier. In late afternoon, we counted 149 adults and 110 kids there, with another 7 adults and 13 kids at the learner pool, ie 279 in total.

With just 5 people in the river at the time, this suggests that wild swimmers are only around 2% of the visitors to the area.

Lammas Land 19 aug 14:52

Do respond to our consultation here

New Cam Valley Forum report published

The Cam from Grantchester to Cambridge: A much loved river in need of our care.

This report is an appreciation of the River Cam from Grantchester to Cambridge, outlining the threats it faces and the context and importance of the river.  It illustrates the entire 2.8 miles length of the “upper river”, from Byrons Pool to Kings Mill Weir in Cambridge, and may provide a better understanding of the river’s rich history and precious ecology.  It is hoped that it may motivate more people to want to protect it from damage, now and in the future.

This is first of the documents that has been prepared as part of Cam Valley Forum’s  “Cam Safer Swim Initiative” (CSSI) If you would like to commment on the report, or get involved in our work to make the Cam safer for swimming, contact cssi@camvalleyforum.uk

Cam Safer Swim Initiative

The Cam Valley Forum recently consulted about designating part of the River Cam as a “Bathing Water”. This would benefit river users by prompting work to improve the quality of the water.  Our proposals are here:


We were delighted to receive 75 responses and have distilled these in a response document:

We are now forming a steering group to take forward a ‘Cam Safer Swim Initiative’. Action areas include:

  • Making local improvements at bathing locations
  • Gathering data on recreational use of the river
  • Monitoring water quality
  • Pressing for better wastewater treatment and an end to combined sewer overflows
  • Reducing diffuse pollution from fields and roads
  • Pursuing dialogue with a wide range of interests

If you would be interested in helping in any of these areas, or have any comments and suggestions, please get in touch cssi@camvalleyforum.uk.