• Soo Hammond

Wild Swimming Sustainably in Pembrokeshire

One of our most popular blogs ever shares our favourite Pembrokeshire wild swimming spots. We love that wild swimming is growing in popularity allowing more of you to experience the benefits of diving into nature - and that’s what we are all about!

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Wild Swimming Secret Waterfall.
The Secret Waterfall - Discover it on your camping or glamping holiday at Top of the Woods

But, we also need to recognise that everything we do has an impact on wildlife and the environment. So we're sharing a few easy tips to reduce your impact on our beautiful Pembrokeshire eco-systems whilst enjoying time connecting with nature on your camping & glamping holiday!

Leave only footprints, take only memories

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Wild Swimming River Teifi
The beautiful River Teifi, perfect for swimming, SUP & canoe adventures!

When you've finished your wild swim or dip, take a moment to look around you and make sure everything you brought with you leaves with you! In other words, ensure all the kids have the correct number of flip-flops on their feet 😊

You can take this a step further and pledge to pick up any rubbish you find along the way, helping the environment, other people and giving yourself a warm feeling of doing a good deed!

Wild swimming entry and exit points

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Wild Swimming River bank.

Avoid muddy, easily damaged water entry or exit points. Not only is this important for your safety (no-one wants to be scrambling up a muddy bank whilst tired and potentially cold after a wonderful swim!), but also because damaged banks will affect water mammals and birds. Sediment & mud washed into the water could disrupt fish & invertebrates in the water too.

Before you enter the water, contemplate how your movement may affect the wildlife that relies on our rivers, lakes, and seas. Use established footpaths to avoid trampling plants & other important habitats.

Lotions & potions

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Wild Swimming Sunset
Pembrokeshire has over 50 stunning beaches to choose from!

On a hot summer day, a quality sun cream is essential to protect yourself. However, most ‘traditional’ sun creams contain nasty chemicals that have detrimental effects on aquatic wildlife. That's why Hawaii become the first state in the USA to ban sunscreens in a bid to protect their coral reefs.

Look for sun creams that are free of oxybenzone and octinoxate; check out this list from The Independent .

Wearing UV protective clothing is a great way to stay safe and minimise your sun cream use. You can also check out this article by the Outdoor Swimming Society about biosecurity and wild swimming.

Think about what other chemicals you might have on your body before your outdoor swim – you don't need deodorant or perfume in the water (they’ll only get washed away anyway!) When you return to Top of the Woods you can freshen up with a nice hot shower, and use our hoses to rinse off your swim gear.

Give wildlife space

Luxury Camping & Glamping in Wales – Otter Sustainable Wild Swimming.
Otters, seals, dolphins and kingfishers are regular sights in Pembrokeshire's waters

Spotting nesting birds along the banks of the Teifi River or glimpsing seals playing in the coves off the Pembrokeshire Coast, it's easy to get carried away and want to get even closer.

However, give these animals their own space. You would not want to be responsible for birds abandoning their nests or seals fleeing and getting exhausted at sea. Plus you can endanger yourself as animals can become protective of their young or territory.

Observe them from a distance, don’t hang around for too long, and don’t advertise the animals’ whereabouts to minimise disturbance from others.

Enjoy that feeling of awe and wonder, being one of the lucky people to witness West Wales’ incredible wildlife 😊

I hope these tips help you to enjoy our beautiful waters safely and protect nature on your camping & glamping holidays!

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