Climate and Nature Emergency Action Plan

Following a suggestion raised by members to the 2021 HSC AGM, a proposal was agreed to prepare a Climate and Nature Emergency Action Plan for the lake.  A working group of members, staff and EC Members volunteered to take this work forward.

The Action Plan introduces the Climate and Nature Emergency, the need for action, and brings together work already underway by the Club, committed work and concept ideas to be investigated. This includes work to reduce the Club’s carbon and nature footprint, and action to improve biodiversity and the resilience of the lake and grounds, as well as to inspire collective action by lake members and staff.

Recognising the importance of joined up work across the city, the Action Plan is structured in line with, and will help contribute to the Bristol One City Climate Strategy themes, One City Ecological Emergency Strategy Goals and the Bristol Avon Catchment Plan.

 It is important to highlight that this Action Plan is a starting point which will evolve in response to new priorities and opportunities. There is a wealth of expertise and knowledge among Club members which provides an exciting opportunity to share ideas and information to improve sustainability both for management, care and enjoyment of the lake and across all areas of our work and lives.

 It is important to note that for actions in the plan below, particularly for actions which are not yet committed and are at concept stage, that any proposal that involves significant expenditure or work by the Club will be considered alongside other Club objectives and priorities.

 The lake has been managed to enhance water quality and the natural environment of the grounds since it was first opened, and as currently the only designated UK bathing water within the City of Bristol it is a precious haven for both people and nature. By putting this plan into action, we aim to progress our work together to protect and enhance the lake so that it continues to thrive for the benefit of nature and people now and for future generations.

 Some of the key actions the plan includes are:

  1. Action for nature - build on the work already underway to enhance nature in the lake grounds and waters to improve biodiversity and water quality. 
  2. Carbon neutral - Take action for Henleaze lake to become carbon neutral by 2030 in our operations, the construction of new and renovation of existing buildings and our wider footprint.  
  3. Switch to green finance and green energy.
  4. Launch a Green Travel Plan - for staff and members.
  5. Play our part - contribute to the objectives of the Bristol One City Climate Emergency and Ecological Emergency Strategies.
  6. Partnership working - Work with the council, the Environment Agency and other partners to deliver these goals.
  7. Use of eco-friendly cleaning products and sunscreen - communications, samples and other action to encourage members to use eco-friendly products (already provided for staff).
  8. Staff training – to raise awareness among staff of operational considerations which will support climate and nature goals and also support engagement of members.
  9. Widening involvement – there is a wealth of expertise and knowledge among Club members to draw on, and practical ways that everyone can be involved.
  10. Reporting - Provide a report on progress and review of the action plan to each AGM.

 Key actions we can all help with:

  1.  Biosecurity - many invasive plant and animal species are microscopic and can be transferred on costumes, wetsuits and footwear. ‘Check, clean and dry’ clothing and equipment when moving between water bodies to help stop the spread of Himalayan Balsam, skunk cabbage, quagga mussels, amphibian diseases and other unwelcome visitors.
  2. Reducing pollution - when we get in the water, any creams and lotion residues applied are likely to be washed off and enter the water.  There are now many excellent nature safe sun screens which provide the protection needed without introducing chemicals into the environment including Bristol company Yaoh (available from Wild Oats and other suppliers).
  3. Green travel – the Green Travel Plan provides information about car free travel options to and from the lake. With over 3000 members this is a key way that collectively we can make a significant difference.
  4. Waste and plastic free lake – please take all you bring to the lake away with you.
  5.  Nature Group – Join Jodi and the Nature Group for hands on practical sessions to care for and improve nature at the lake.

 The Action Plan can be viewed at: Henleaze Swimming Club Climate and Nature Emergency Action Plan

 To provide any further ideas, information or suggestions, or to get involved contact us via the Contact page.

The nature area at the north end of the Lake

The nature area at the north end of the Lake


Swimmers and nature co-exist

Badocks Wood School pupils learn about nature