A man with swimming cap swimming outdoors, maybe in a river

The Rivers Trust partners with the Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival

We are incredibly proud to announce that we are an official partner of The Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival 2022!

Emily Cooper


Next year, we’ll be asking you to race to revive our rivers at the Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival. In return for a fundraising pledge, sixty lucky swimmers will be able to take part in the event for free! Even if you don’t manage to secure one of the free spots, we’d still love to have you on our team.

We adore seeing people enjoy their local rivers. For lots of people, this means taking the plunge into wild swimming. However, many of our rivers simply aren’t clean enough to swim in—but you could help us to change that.

In the State of Our Rivers, we reported that no rivers are in good overall health. While rivers will never be totally clean, agriculture and sewage pollution have had a particularly detrimental impact on river health—which has a knock on effect for river users. Nobody should become sick as a result of spending time in their local river, which is why we're leading the fight to protect and improve our rivers.

By fundraising for us, swimmers at the Outdoor Swimmer Henley Swim Festival will help to support our vision of rivers fit to swim in. Funds raised will be used to support work across the UK and Ireland, creating wilder, healthier, more natural rivers for people and wildlife to enjoy. You'll take part in an exhilarating, community-building event all while helping to protect rivers just like the one you'll be swimming in.

Christine Colvin said:

““We want people to be able to swim, paddle, catch and play in and around rivers without having to worry about pollution.”

Christine Colvin
Director of Communications and Partnerships

Christine added: "but with little investment and every river failing to meet chemical standards, rivers are running out of time. On the lead up to the festival, we’ll be calling on outdoor swimmers to race to revive rivers and help raise awareness of their current state. We can’t wait to cheer you on!”

Swimmers of every level are encouraged to join in with the festival. Swim distances include 200m splash for children aged 8 years plus (with the chance for an adult to accompany them for free), half mile, 1 mile, 2 mile and 4-mile swims. Don't delay: secure your space at this fantastic event below.

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