Freshwater bathing areas

In the summer months, especially during long periods of hot weather, lakes become warm and rivers and streams present tempting opportunities for cooling off. In the wilder places people may wish to swim in a lake or stream and delight in the remote, solitary nature of the place. Other more gregariously used places may become busy and subject to potential problems of hygiene, litter, safety and site damage, which reduces the pleasure and spoils the setting.

Hygiene requirements may include toilet blocks, showers, changing cubicles, drinking water supplies, litter management and restrictions on taking pets in or near the water. Ideally, bathing facilities should be grouped within a single building to reduce the impact of several structures in the landscape. Toilet blocks have been dealt with in detail earlier, and can include showers and changing cubicles.

Where separate buildings are needed to house changing cubicles, these should be designed to match the toilet blocks and picnic shelters used elsewhere; they can also include showers. Basic shelter structures can be modified easily with partitions, screens and benches. Their design should include non-slip floors, which are sloped for ease of washing down and draining. Partitions must be high enough to ensure privacy, with sightlines into entrances screened off. Materials should not splinter or be of an abrasive nature. Pegs or hooks should be provided for hanging clothes. Lockers are occasionally provided at the larger sites but not at smaller ones, where cars or family picnic spots are within easy reach. Changing cubicles can be individual, unisex arrangements or communal separate-sex areas with appropriate signage. If demand increases at the site it may be necessary to increase the number of changing units, so designing a building that can be extended easily or internally remodelled is an advantage.

The site layout should also include signs to orientate visitors to the changing facilities and toilets, and to guide their behaviour: for example, reminding them that glass bottles should not be used anywhere

on the site.