A Guide to Wild Swimming in Cornwall

by Wild Swimming Cornwall in Falmouth, England, United Kingdom

A Guide to Wild Swimming in Cornwall
We did it
On 19th February 2021 we successfully raised £13,724 with 503 supporters in 21 days

To publish A Guide to Wild Swimming in Cornwall to make it easier and safer for others to experience the health benefits of wild swimming.

by Wild Swimming Cornwall in Falmouth, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

Now we're able to donate books to schools, GPs and libraries we would like to get the book out to more people by increasing our print run! Please help us by pre-ordering your copy of the book. Thank you for all of your support! 


Who are we? 

Originally from Cornwall, we are a group of friends for whom wild swimming has had a profound impact on our lives; making it possible for us to overcome challenges and to emerge from the other side of them as stronger and more content versions of ourselves.  

Whether overcoming trauma, anxiety and agoraphobia; recovering from third degree burns and the resulting PTSD; or dealing with the impacts of suicide and depression, each of us have individually discovered the benefits of open water swimming. We came together to form Wild Swimming Cornwall last year because of the positive impacts it has had on our physical and mental wellbeing, our sense of belonging and our affinity with the natural world. Since then, we have raised money for Mind UK, worked with Cornwall Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, supported the #SurfForYourSanity movement and worked to promote positive mental health throughout the county and beyond.

We would like to publish A Guide to Wild Swimming in Cornwall, to make wild swimming in Cornwall more accessible to everyone. We also want to share information on the mental and physical health benefits that it offers. We are hoping to raise the print and design costs for the guidebook through this fundraiser so that we can afford to publish the book and provide a resource to anyone who wants to access the joy and beauty of wild swimming in Cornwall.

The guide will contain information on the benefits of cold water swimming, safety information and approximately 60 locations to swim at in Cornwall. These have been carefully picked, taking into consideration safety, footfall, the local environment and the impact it will have on the local community.

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What is wild swimming?

Wild swimming is the act of swimming outdoors in a place where nature is all around you. In Cornwall, this can include beaches, rivers, quarries and tidal pools. With over 300 beaches in Cornwall, there are a huge amount of places to choose from. This book will help you to choose where to swim so that you can have the most enjoyable experience. 

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Why ‘A Guide to Wild Swimming’? 

Our aim is to encourage more people to take part in wild swimming and to experience its benefits in order to lead a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life.   

It’s all about finding community, self-care and an affinity with nature through cold water.

  • Finding community by utilising the water as a place we can make and maintain the connections we have to each other in a healthy way and to build upon new and existing friendships. 
  • Investing in self-care through the unification of body and mind and the sense of being present that we experience as a result of submerging our bodies in cold water. This improves both our physical and mental resilience, making us braver, stronger and on the whole more prepared for whatever life throws our way.  
  • Building an affinity with nature by immersing ourselves in the ocean and our natural surroundings, making us more environmentally conscious individuals. 

We also believe that this book will help others to stay safe in the water. Whilst it has been amazing to see an increase in people participating in wild swimming over the past twelve months, it is of vital importance for all participants to understand how to stay safe and how to undertake risk assessments before getting in. This information will be included as part of the book so that it is readily available at all times. 

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The mental health benefits of wild swimming

Research suggests that swimming outdoors in cold water is particularly good for mental wellbeing. Cold water swimming just a few times a week can reduce the body’s stress response, increase dopamine levels by up to 530% and help us to achieve a state of mindfulness. Anecdotal evidence (and our own experiences) show that over time wild swimming helps us to build confidence, to become braver and to become more resilient. Research is currently being conducted at Portsmouth University to better understand the links between cold water swimming, depression and anxiety and to gather more quantitative data on the positive effects of cold water immersion on mental health. Wild swimming is also a form of eco-therapy. 

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Our idea

We’re well aware that the concept of wild swimming is nothing new. However, we feel that by sharing our knowledge on how and where to swim with others we can encourage more people to get into the water. As a result, we hope for more people to be able to experience the wellbeing benefits of wild swimming in a safe and environmentally conscious way. We also hope that it will help people develop a stronger connection to the natural world and therefore encourage people to help keep our oceans clean and accessible for future generations. With the outbreak of COVID-19 we feel as though it is more important than ever for people to invest in their health and spend more time outdoors. Forging a healthy and happy community and an equally healthy planet is at the heart of what we’re trying to achieve. 

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The book will include approximately 60 swimming locations from 8 regions around the county. This will be listed on the contents page, alongside a map. The contents pages will look something like this.

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For each location, you can expect to find a key, information describing the location and the swimming experience there, directions on how to get there and a ‘discover more section’. Location pages will look something like this. 

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The introductory content will include information on the mental and physical health benefits of wild swimming, extensive safety information and other useful wild swimming tips. The introductory content will look something like this. 

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The Book

An aesthetically pleasing but robust travel-sized guidebook including approximately 60 wild swimming locations, health benefits, safety information, a ‘discover more’ section and a key (190 x 150 mm).

Paperback with front flaps and glossed pages for durability. 

Made locally from 100% recycled paper (FSC certified) at one of the most sustainable print houses in the country (St Austell Printing Company). The end product is still fully recyclable.

Over 100 high-quality, beautiful photographs of Cornwall taken by Max Campbell. 

The rewards

For £25 each, we are offering 230 people the chance to have their name in the book. Plus, you will be the first to receive copies of the book, which will be hand signed by us – the authors. This is a one-off opportunity, whereby your support for the book will be printed for all to see on our 'Thank you' page in every single copy. We will also keep you in the loop with the book as it progresses and share behind the scenes content. 

For £30 each, we are offering 100 people the above PLUS a Wild Swimming Cornwall swimming badge! 

Alternatively, it is possible to simply donate to the crowdfunder. This can be any amount of your choosing.

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Conclusion

We would like to publish A Guide to Wild Swimming in Cornwall.

Our aim is to promote a healthier and happier community and planet by getting more people safely into the water and wild swimming.

The book will be published around Easter (April 2021).

We need your help to do so!

Please donate or purchase a limited edition signed copy and get your name in the book. 

Thank you in advance, we couldn’t do it without you!

Lydia, Bethany and Max x

Rewards

This project offers rewards in return for your donation.

£19 or more

144 of 200 claimed

Pre-order the book! (UK postage only)

Our limited edition book sales have been snapped up which means we can afford to increase the size of our print run. Select this reward to pre-order a copy of the book.

£25 or more

230 of 230 claimed

Your name in the book, plus a signed copy (UK)

For £25 we will print your name in our 'Thank you' section at the back of the book for all to see that you helped us achieve our goal. Plus, you will be the first to receive a copy of the book, which will be signed by the authors. This is a one off opportunity and there are only a limited number of name slots available. This is available for UK postage only.

£30 or more

80 of 80 claimed

Your name in the book, signed copy and badge (UK)

For £30 we will print your name in our 'Thank you' section at the back of the book for all to see that you helped us achieve our goal. Plus, you will be the first to receive a copy of the book, which will be signed by the authors. AND you will receive a limited edition Wild Swimming Cornwall badge. This is a one off opportunity and there are only a limited number of name slots available. This is available for UK postage only.

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