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“A gentle and rather lovely documentary about the community of wild swimmers who dip all year round at Gaddings Dam on the West Yorkshire moors” – Cath Clarke, The Guardian

“…thrill-seekers all over swear by the restorative benefits of taking a frosty dip in nature… Gaddings Dam has become one such special place” – The Yorkshire Post

“Not only a beautiful portrait of a place and its people, but a meditation on the simple, life-affirming powers of a pastime as old as the hills themselves: swimming. Wild water should be available on prescription” – Benjamin Myers (Gallows Pole)

“Beautifully captures the profound bond between a swim community and the enchanting waters of Gaddings Dam, celebrating the restorative embrace of a local and cherished swimming spot” – WOWSA,  World Open Water Swimming Association

“Wild Water is filled with enthusiasm and tells a loving story about the restorative powers of the water, as well as its power to bring together a community” – Film Carnage

“A real community spirit not often found on-screen” – Film Review Daily

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Diving in to the cold water swimming community at England's highest beach.

The Wild Water feature documentary is a dive into Gaddings Dam’s cold water swimming community, home to the highest beach in England. What drives somebody to swim in a freezing reservoir, and what do they find on the other side? The film tracks the landscape and the people as they use the restorative powers of cold water to reconnect with their mental health, identity, nature and each other.

Gaddings Dam is a reservoir hidden in the West Yorkshire moors 780 feet above sea level, posing a steep twenty-minute trek up a snaking footpath for those drawn to its beauty in all seasons; always the same, always different. Cast in a bleak yet romantic landscape steeped in the poetry and prose of Ted Hughes and the Brontës, and lays claim to England’s highest beach. This strip of sand acts as a magnet to a vibrant community of swimmers, day-trippers, walkers, livestock, bikers and runners. Hardened locals brave the wind, rain and snow to wild swim for escape, comradeship, to keep the black dog at bay or just for the sheer thrill and spiritual release. As the water envelops their body, all experience the same visceral hit, taking away everything except the moment; time stops, and the world is at peace.

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Film duration: 52 minutes