Should there be a sea pool on the Isle of Wight?

Swim the Wight is developing a proposal for a sea pool on the Isle of Wight: a safe, sheltered, inclusive and eco-friendly tidal pool that is accessible and available to all. 

Swim The Wight CIC wants to develop an open air, sea refreshed pool for the island that will sit naturally within the sea defences and be part of the regeneration of Yaverland and Sandown. The sea pool will provide an accessible, safe and free to use resource year-round for all swimmers, bobbers, dippers, non-swimmers and water sport enthusiasts, encouraging and supporting ‘blue health’ for physical, mental and emotional health and wellbeing.

To further their quest, Swim The Wight has launched a survey to find out whether the Isle of Wight’s residents, businesses and visitors use our seas. Do they swim or use the water in other ways? And if so, when, where and how? If not, what are the barriers? Would they use a year-round accessible safe sea pool if there was one? The survey forms a key part of a feasibility study on the sea pool, which will be analysed and fed into the study over the next few months 

Sea swimming is growing in popularity

Sandown Bay on the Isle of Wight is already a very popular swimming area for a large number of regular resident swimmers and visitors and Swim The Wight believes that a sea pool will offer enthusiasts a longer season and more protected swims when the weather is rough as well as the opportunity for the less confident and able to swim and try it out safely, broadening the appeal greatly.

“We love swimming in the sea around the island, year-round but there are times when the weather just makes it unsafe even for the very best swimmers,” says Victoria Thorneton-Field, Swim The Wight. “I meet so many people who say that they just don’t have the confidence to swim in the sea or who have accessibility challenges and just can’t access the beach or sea safely. An accessible naturally fed Sea Pool will resolve those issues and provide many more opportunities for Sandown Bay and the whole island.”

Are you an Isle of Wight resident or visitor? Share your views

The Isle of Wight Sea Pool Survey is a short (5-10 min) questionnaire asking people for their views on swimming and whether they would use a sea-fed pool. The results of the survey put together by Swim the Wight in conjunction with Unlimited Island and Southampton University will not only be fed into the feasibility study for the Sea Pool but the wider vision for Yaverland and the greater Bay Area Place Plan. 

Swim the Wight wants as many people as possible, residents and visitors to the island, swimmers and non-swimmers to give us their views about swimming over the next two months through the survey. Members of the Swim the Wight community will be present at island summer events to promote the survey and it will be promoted via the local press, social media and local businesses. The more responses received the better the input will be into the feasibility study and any subsequent plan that comes from that reflecting public views. 

Are you an Isle of Wight resident or visitor? Complete the survey here and share your views.

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Jo is the Gear Editor for Outdoor Swimmer and also writes news and features for the website. A keen open water swimmer and long-distance walker, she loves seeking out lakes and lidos close to her home in the Mendip Hills, Somerset. She is the author of The Slow Traveller, editor and founder of independent magazine, Ernest, and has previously tested outdoor clothing and kit for BBC Countryfile Magazine, BBC Focus and Ernest Journal.