This weekend 28 competitors swam the length of Lake Windermere- more than ten miles. Some of our guests at the Newby Bridge Hotel also swam in the Lake, along with hundreds of others who had travelled to the Lakes to take part in the Great North Swim event. The only problem was that they weren’t able to take part in the event itself as it had been cancelled at the last minute by the organisers who had had the fear of God put into them by the presence of blue-green algae close the the starting point. They went onto national TV saying that the lake was poisonous and that it would have been irresponsible to let the event take place. This was no small matter, as 9,000 people had registered to take part in the event. Anyone with knowledge of local conditions could have told them that the algae is ever-present at the proposed starting place near the Low Wood Hotelas; ever since power boat racing has been banned the water there has been stagnant. There are many other places from which the event could have been started in complete safety. The organisers could also have given the participants the option of choosing themselves whether to take part, after having the risks explained. In the end, people voted with their flippers- they swam in the lake and, guess what- no-one suffered any ill effects.
This video shows me putting my point of view to ITV local news, followed by the actual broadcast.