Open Water Swimming

Chelmarsh’s most recent addition to its water activities.

Swimming was introduced at Chelmarsh in 2021 the emphasis has always been on safety and ensuring members can enjoy our wonderful reservoir. We have great facilities but currently with COVID-19, changing rooms are closed (toilets available). All operations are controlled and swim numbers restricted to allow social distancing and COVID-19 compliance.

A recent posting on Facebook by the NOWCA quotes:

“The reservoir is a stunning piece of water filled form the River Severn and used for drinking by South Staffs.  A wide range of facilities are available, including onsite parking, a club house and much more!”

There are swim sessions on Saturday mornings between 07:30 and 09:00. All swim sessions must be pre booked using actio (see below).

There is an evening swim session on Thursdays between 17:00 and 19:00.  Again, all swim sessions must be pre booked using actio (see below).

All swimmers must be members of NOWCA this provides us an excellent safety system with all swimmers wearing wrist bands and logging into and out of the water (much like park run). NOWCA membership is annual and currently costs just £15.00. When joining mention Chelmarsh as this then allows us to issue your wrist band (included with membership).

Any NOWCA member can book swims at Chelmarsh and there is a swim fee. We offer Chelmarsh memberships, which include sailing, SUP or just swim. All Chelmarsh members have free swimming at Chelmarsh (but all swims must be pre booked) The current swim annual membership is £55.

The club is volunteer run, we are a club not a commercial venue and the club is not for profit. We would welcome any offers of help and support. Safety cover for every swim session is provided by our active SUP club.

There are a few basic rules:

Tow float is essential (this is a large and deep piece of open water)

Swim Cap

NOWCA membership and pre booking (this includes declarations and safety info)

Scan in using arm band and scan out immediately on leaving water (to allow us to “head count”)

Current minimum water temp 10 degrees (although we may explore cold water swimming later in the year)

Wetsuits if water temperature less than 12 degrees

Parking is free but please use car park or gravelled areas in boat park or grass on right hand side (not the area on the left at the top of the slope)

The club is private property and only members or NOWCA guests are allowed

Mutual respect and respect for the environment

We sometimes take photographs and use these in social media please let us know if this is an issue.


To 1             113m (226 return)

1-2               140m

Beach to 2     250m (500 return)

2-3               167m

Beach to 3     420m (840 return)

Beach to 3 to 1 to3 to beach  1119 m

Our detailed OWS detail and Risk Registers can be found here: OWS SOP.pdf Risk assessment - OWS.pdf

Membership detail for NOWCA is here:

Please ensure you note Chelmarsh as your home club

Membership detail for Chelmarsh can be found here:

Once joined as a Chelmarsh, member you need to link Chelmarsh and NOWCA to get the free swimming. Do this on your NOWCA account Log in and click on club listing (top menu bar) choose Chelmarsh and apply. This then sends us a request to link you. Please allow 24 hrs.


Car Keys can be left in a box under the notice board at swim entry control point.

We have some tow floats which can be loaned

If you cannot attend there is a planned waiting list development in Actio, refunds (even for members) incur costs to the club so please do not book unless you are sure you are intending to swim.

We will post any further FAQ and answers below

Many thanks for your interest and support in Chelmarsh Swim and we look forward to seeing you at Chelmarsh.

Another glorius day for sailing at Chelmarsh

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Website last updated:  17 May 2022

Website by Tara Lievesley