Essex Country Parks allow access to lakes and ponds in some of our parks which may look safe, but can be very dangerous.
The water can be extremely cold, even in warm weather. Cold water shock will affect your ability to swim.
- Swimming in open water is very different to using a swimming pool and there are no lifeguards.
- It can be difficult to get out, especially if there are steep slimy banks
- It is difficult to judge depth just by looking and often, it can be very deep
- There may be hidden obstacles in the water that could cause serious injury, like broken glass
- Although water quality is monitored, there is still a risk of disease from untreated water that can make you very ill.
- There could be patches of thick pond weed that are easy to get tangled up in and hard to get out of.
- Frozen lakes cause hazards to both people and pets. You should never attempt to walk on the ice.
- Dogs should be kept on leads around frozen lakes and if they do enter the ice, dial 999 for emergency help.
For these reasons, swimming is not allowed in any of our lakes and ponds. Children should not be allowed to play in or around them unsupervised.
If you see anyone in distress, please call the emergency services on 999.