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Wimbledon Park Lake
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A wild swimming lake could be coming to Wimbledon this summer

By Emma Hughes

From the Serpentine in Hyde Park to Hampstead Heath’s world-famous ponds, London has some beautiful wild swimming spots – but none of them are in the south west.

All that could change very soon, though, with the news that Merton Council is debating whether to launch open-water swimming sessions in Wimbledon Park lake. 

Designed by eminent engineer Capability Brown in 1765, the lake was popular with swimmers in bygone times. Now, more than 3,000 people have put their names to a petition backed by local swimmers’ group Swimbledon urging the council to run an official trial wild swimming period in the lake, with a 400m section being given over to early-morning sessions. If the scheme gets the go-ahead, it could be underway by May. 

‘It will give people the opportunity to participate in open-water swimming and provide access to a fantastic resource to improve people’s lives,’ said Swimbledon founder Stuart Coleman. ‘There is a gap in south-west London.’ We couldn't agree more. Now, where did we leave our goggles?

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