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Stanley Ulijaszek (2022) - Kicking a stink in river waters

Open water swimmers in the UK are outraged by the continued dumping of raw sewage into rivers and the ocean. In this work, Stanley Ulijaszek is trying to make sense of it all, writing about the disconnects between legislation, regulation, provision, and use, that have gotten the UK into this watery mess. He calls it 'The Second Great Stink' (the first being in the nineteenth century), a time to rethink again these relationships so that swimming in clean waters is again assured. 

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House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (2022) - Water quality in rivers


Probably the first UK Parliamentary Report that gives wild swimming a place in much needed improvement of UK inland waters. The report states unambiguously that 'rivers in England are in a mess'. Section 2, entitled 'Rivers fit to swim in', concludes that 'Every community in the country should have access to waters—whether coastal or inland—that are safe for people to swim in without running the risk of falling ill'. And recommends that 'the Government actively encourage the designation of at least one widely used stretch of river for bathing in each water company area by 2025 at the latest'. The strongest statement of intent to find the metaphorical 'Bower by the silver Thames' that river swimmers seek.   


Stanley Ulijaszek(2021) - Swimming, leptospirosis, and me. An autopathography

In August 2021, Stanley Ulijaszek contracted leptospirosis, a truly vile disease. This is an account of his experience, real and hallucinatory. It examines the epidemiology of the disease and offers some thoughts about risk and infection associated with open water swimming.

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Alex Foster (2020) -Facilitating cold-water immersion for metabolic health: Situating habitus, enskilment, and communities of practice in the context of a London Swimming Club. MPhil Thesis in Medical Anthropology, University of Oxford.

This MPhil thesis is an analysis of winter swimming and cold-water immersion at the Serpentine Swimming Club, where these practices have a deep history and strong tradition. 

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