Research Methods

Both research methods are being undertaken at the Rayrigg Meadow and Millerground bathing sites (during daylight hours) across the season (September 2022 – September 2023). Please read a summary of the methods below. You can be involved in just one, or both methods.  

Taylor (the researcher) will be briefly observing user interactions with the lake, alongside recording water/weather conditions, and making general descriptive written reflections, later analysing the notes at home afterwards. Taylor will often be swimming and video recording his experiences with a GoPro and static camera (on the jetty), but he will not be directly recording user activity.

If you consent, there may opportunities to share audio recorded conversations on-land about your experiences/thoughts at the lake. Your responses will be anonymised with a pseudonym (chosen by you), yet participation is entirely voluntary. To organise this recorded conversation, you will need to read the Participant Information Sheet below and then get in touch with Taylor.

If you have experience of OWS and you are interested in taking part, please read the Participant Information Sheet * below and get in touch.

The interviews will take a maximum of 1-hour, recording before, during, and after our swim, inviting open-ended questions about our motivations, what we notice about ourselves and around us, including access, water quality, weather conditions, kit, and anything else we wish to share. There is the option of recording the interview via a GoPro and static camera.

OWS carries some immediate physical risks when exposed to fluctuating temperatures, water quality, weather, and environmental conditions. There will be continuous dialogue before, during, and after the swim, but you are responsible for your own swim safety. The use of tow floats during the interview will be mandatory (Taylor has a spare), but you can choose whatever swim kit you feel most comfortable using. Your responses will be anonymised with a pseudonym (chosen by you), and Taylor will be later analysing the recordings at home.

* A Consent Form alongside a Demographics and OWS Experience Survey will also need to completed/sent via email or in-person at the lake prior to the swimalong interview. Taylor will organise this with you.

Open Water Swimming Kit
Toxic Blue Green Algae Windermere
taylor butler-eldridge
Dry Robe

Participant Information

If you wish to take part in a recorded conversation (on-land) or swimalong interview, please download/read the Participant Information Sheet below and then get in touch. You can be involved in just one, or both methods. Taylor will also have spare participation forms at the lake.

Participant Information Sheet

Research Findings

Anonymous quotations from the recorded interviews or conversations may be used for Taylor’s PhD Thesis, alongside future academic publications and teaching material within health geographies, psychogeographies, and other transdisciplinary OWS research.

The research also aims to encourage broader public engagement with existing (and potential) communities invested in OWS and environmental health at Windermere through a series of creative and collaborative outputs featured on this research website … so, watch this space!

No identifiable audio-video footage from your recorded interview or conversation will be published, yet the environmental context e.g. showing weather conditions may be re-layered into a feature video on this research website. All participants will be assigned pseudonyms (chosen by you), and no other person aside from Taylor will be able to identify individuals. All statements/observations made will be anonymised. All data collection and storage will comply with GDPR regulations, and you are free to withdraw from the research at any time without needing to give a reason and without any repercussions. For more information, please read the Participant Information Sheet above, or get in touch if you have further queries.

Supported By

University of Exeter Faculty of Environment, Science and Economy

This research has also been reviewed and approved by The Geography Research Ethics Committee at the University of Exeter.

For information about the research background, aims, and principles, please click the button below.

Care-full swimming

Open-water swimming can be risky. So let’s take care of ourselves, our communities, and our shared environments.