Lake Rules

Please read for your own health and safety

Please take time to read the following to ensure you are aware of how we run this lake.

These procedures have been put in place to enable you to have a safe and enjoyable open water swim session – please make sure you carry out the following:

  • No booking. No swim.
  • All swimmers must report to our reception post. 
  • Swim sessions are 1hr slots.  If you wish to swim for longer please book extra slots.
  • All swim session will start and finish at the allotted time
  • All swimmers must check in with the welcome team. After checking you in we allocate a numbered band to your name.    When you swim please have the band on your ankle or wrist.  On finishing your swim session please tell our beach lifeguard your band colour and number before putting into the sanitising that we can cross you off as safely back.  If you lose your band - let us know.
  • No swimmer is to enter the water before our session supervisor gives the go ahead for swimming to start. This is for your safety as there will be no water supervision until then.
  • Children of under 16 years old are not allowed to swim in the lake unless swimming with our coach
  • Children are not permitted to play on the beach at any time. Race starts and finishes are practiced from the beach so this is not a safe place for children. Parents please ensure your children are kept off the beach.
  • ALL (no exceptions) swimmers must pass the SOWS swimming competency test which is part of our induction process. Swim tests can be carried out at any time during a swim session and takes just a few minutes. Swim tests must be observed and confirmed as completed by SOWS Staff before you are allowed to swim on your own. This test involves being observed to be able to swim 150 metres minimum.  The swimmer must show they are competent and comfortable enough in open water.
  • All swimmers are advised to wear a swimming wetsuit. Not only will this keep you warm but it will help you float.  Surfing type wetsuits will not always help your swimming and can sometimes be a hinderance.
  • A brightly coloured swim hat must be worn at all times in the water so that you can be seen. Hats can be purchased at check in.
  • Lightening procedures for swimmers.If, at any time, you hear repeted whistles being blown and/or a loud hooter being sounded you must immediately leave the water at the nearest exit point. You should stay on land and make your way back to the beach/decking area to await further instructions.
  • Raise and wave your arm for attention if you cannot make it back to land.  If you see another swimmer in trouble - please raise the alarm but do not approach them yourself.
  • Calling over the safety canoe unless you have an emergency puts other swimmers at risk.  We will not be amused if you just wish to adjust your goggles !
  • Swim with a buddy if possible. Please also swim responsibly and know your limits. Stay near the beach or Stick to the shorter loop if you have any doubts.
  • If you sight anyone in trouble you must alert a member of SOWS staff as quickly as possible. 
  • Swimmers must stick to the swim courses set out by coloured buoys.
  • Swimmers should swim parallel to the bank when possible.
  • Swim all loops in a clockwise direction.
  • If staff ask you to leave the water please do so immediately.  Arguing will only result in you not being welcome back (your safety is our priority)
  • Safety cover will be provided at all sessions and this will not be below the required minimum standard identified in the venue risk assessment.
  • Before your first swim a pre-swim briefing will be given. This will provide clear guidance on the course to be swum and information on what to do if a swimmer experiences difficulty. Please ask staff if anything you are told is not clear.
  • Try to ingest a minimum amount of water when swimming. When on land footwear must be worn at all times.
  • Cover all cuts and abrasions, however minor, with sticking plasters. Do not swim if you have deep cuts.
  • Wash hands in fresh water before eating after you have swum and take a full shower at the earliest opportunity.
  • In the unlikely event that you develop any flu-like symptoms after swimming with an open cut/wound please tell your doctor that you have been swimming in open water.
  • A first aid kit will always be on site if you ever have any need. Any accidents no matter how small must be reported to SOWS staff and will be logged
  • Children under 16 years of age are not be left on their own without the supervision of an adult (over 18 years of age)
  • The SOWS safety officer on site has the final say to whether a swim session can proceed or not. This decision can be with regards to all swimmers or an individual swimmer
  • Dogs being allowed on site is currently under review due to owners leaving dog mess in bags on the ground which we find insulting.  So - at the moment ....  Friendly dogs are permitted at the lake but must stay on a lead at all times.  Poo bags must be with you and any mess cleared immediately. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOGS MESS ON SITE IN OUR BINS OR ON THE FLOOR IN BAGS.  TAKE IT WITH YOU!!   Do not allow your dog to toilet in the swimmers area or anywhere in the car park.
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Before you enter

Take a look at our helth questionnaire to ensure you are fit enough to enter a swimming race.

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Time Technology

All our races are timed using special time technology which means you can see exactly how long it took you to finish.

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