Shot through the seasons over 16 months, Wild Water dives into the cold water swimming community of Gaddings Dam, Calderdale, West Yorkshire, home to the UK’s highest beach. The film tracks the breathtaking landscape and its community of wild swimmers as they use the restorative powers of cold water to reconnect with their mental health, identity and the natural environment.
Gaddings Dam is a reservoir masked by the Est Yorkshire moors, 780 feet above sea level. The bleak but romantic landscape, steeped in the poetry and prose of Ted Hughes and the Brontës, the small strip of sand is a magnet to a community of swimmers, day-trippers, walkers, bikers and runners.
There is a rhythm as people come and go, having made the twenty-minute trek up a broken footpath, each drawn to the beauty as it changes with the seasons; always the same, always different. Some hardened locals brave the wind, rain and snow to wild swim all seasons for escape, comradeship, to keep the black dog at bay or just for the sheer thrill. As they hit the water, all experience the same visceral hit, taking away everything except the moment. Time stops, and peace arrives.
But there is more to this place than just swimming; a whole ecosystem of activity circulates around the reservoir, from the pub landlord fighting to keep vehicles out of his car park to the Gaddings Dam Preservation Society and the January Daily Dippers.
Wild Water supports Crisis, the national homelessness charity whose annual Icebreaker Challenge is held every Winter across the UK.
More information at wildwaterfilm.net Produced by papervisionfilms.com