According to a study carried out by Sport England, the number of people taking part in open water swimming regularly, this means at least twice a month, has risen by more than 95% in the last two years. From approximately 250,000 in 2016 to almost 500,000 in 2018. To this end, the government has been looking to open more locations for this activity and other water sports.
Beckenham Place Park will soon be one of these locations. Previously a golf course, for almost 100 years, 2016 saw the last people teeing off from it’s greens.
Following an extensive renovation of the 237 acre grounds and mansion house, costing almost £7 million, the land includes a huge amount of green space. Many people have already enjoyed a relaxing stroll around the gardens and a chill out at the main mansion which includes a pop up bar, cool music, yoga, arts and crafts and a vinyl store. However, the grounds also include a wonderful 285 metre lake.
The lake is a recreation of an original Georgian water feature. The lake is filled by an aquifer reached by a new borehole, local ground water and also an existing steam. Various aquatic plants means that the water is naturally filtered, they remove unwanted nutrients, whilst oxygen pumps keep the water healthy.
Officialy open to the public from Saturday 20th July, the lake will take up to 60 swimmers, and also includes a jetty from which various water sports will be offered. The lake is 3.5 metres at is deepest meaning a variety of sports are possible there. It also includes a beach area with shallow water meaning children can enjoy this natural jewel as well.
The council are considering similar projects in Wimbledon, Broomfield Park, and Palmers Green. Hampstead Heath is already very popular with open water swimmers.
Here at Get Afloat, we are overjoyed to see new facilities like this, and hope that plans do come off to create more of these and help us to achieve our mission to get more people active on the water.