ShAFF Online - Nick Hayes, author of The Book of Trespass

ShAFF Online - SOUP (Sheffield OUtdoor Plungers) presents Nick Hayes, author of The Book of Trespass



18 Jan '21 | 8:00pm

ShAFF Online - Owen Hayman of SOUP (Sheffield OUtdoor Plungers) will be talking with Nick Hayes, author of The Book of Trespass about the state of water and land access in England. They will discuss how Sheffield and the Peaks went from being a fairly un-swum place to becoming the home of one of the UK's largest and most vibrant swimming communities in just a few years, and thinking of mischievous ways to take things further. Nick is a really inspiring and insightful speaker and hopes to be working with SOUP on some exciting swimming access projects in the future.

Nick Hayes



The vast majority of England is out-of-bounds. By law of trespass, we are strangers in our own nation, excluded from 92 per cent of the land and 97 per cent of its waterways, blocked by walls whose legitimacy is rarely questioned. But behind them lies a story of enclosure, exploitation and dispossession of public rights whose effects last to this day.

Join Nick Hayes - author, illustrator, trespasser and campaigner for land access - as he talks online about his new book, now a Sunday Times bestseller, which takes the reader on an expansive journey over the walls of England, into the thousands of square miles of rivers, woodland, lakes and meadows that are blocked from public access. The Book of Trespass will transform the way you see England – and its KEEP OUT signs – forever.


The event is co-hosted by Sheffield OUtdoor Plungers (SOUP) with Owen Hayman at the helm interviewing the speakers. It is one of a series of 4 during Jan and Feb 2021.

Jan 11th - Swimming in Reservoirs and Rivers, with Suzie Wheway and Lance Sagar

Jan 18th - Nick Hayes, author of The Book of Trespass

Jan 25th - Rachel Ashe, founder of Mental Health Swims

Feb 1st - Ed Accura, founder of the Black Swimming Association


Almost everywhere we swim, there are 'No Swimming' signs. Many of the places we swim have almost no known history of swimming. This is an emerging wisdom. One of our core aims is to normalise outdoor free swimming in places where it was once a very eccentric thing to do, if not illegal. Not only do we aim to normalise swimming in the eyes of onlookers, but normalise it with ourselves too. We challenge the doubts within ourselves and aim to answer the questions we have as best we can. Through sharing maps and information, and inviting strangers to swim, break down social and personal barriers. We work towards a time when the invaluable benefits of swimming and dipping in open water are recognised and respected. Come for a swim! There may be cake too.

Owen Hayman


Owen is a swimming access campaigner, living and swimming in the middle of what was once known as “Sheffield Lakeland”, an area dominated by large majestic functioning reservoir lakes. He founded SOUP – Sheffield OUtdoor Plungers, and is a member of the Outdoor Swimming Society campaigning and inland access team. Along with many others in the wider Yorkshire area and beyond, Owen is working to bring swimmers together, to collectively break down mental, social and structural barriers to free outdoor swimming.


The talk will be delivered using Zoom. We recommend that you download the app and install it ready. You will be able to join the meeting via a link in your confirmation email.

The event will not cost you anything to attend, but we will request that you pay what you felt it was worth using this PayPal link.

Donations will be shared between the speakers and ShAFF. Thanks in advance.