Lido clocks up record crowds

Ilkley Gazette:

SOARING temperatures this week have seen record numbers of people flocking to Ilkley's Lido on Denton Road to cool down.

Last weekend saw around 5,000 people going to the Lido to take advantage of its outdoor facilities.

The open air pool was the perfect place to be to cool down during the heatwave, which continued this week.

And a Bradford Council spokesman said that 1,500 people used the pool on Monday and on Tuesday the figure was up to 2,000.

On both weekend days 2,500 people - young and old - took advantage of the lagoon-shaped outdoor pool and its facilities, which include an outdoor water fountain pool, caf and picnic tables and grassed relaxation areas.

Head of Sport and Leisure at Bradford Council Steve Warner said: "The Lido is always very popular on hot days because it is the perfect place to relax, cool down, enjoy a dip and have fun.

"This great weather is forecast to continue, so I would advise anyone who wants to enjoy the sunshine in a picturesque setting to visit the Lido and experience the fun one of the country's few remaining outdoor pools has to offer."

Last summer more than 158,000 people visited the outdoor pool and Bradford Council is continuing its 'b active' campaign to encourage more people of all ages and abilities to be active, be healthy and have fun by taking a dip at a council-owned pool or having a workout at one of its leisure centres.

The pool opened in 1935 but the town of Ilkley was already on the map as an open air swimming attraction as people took advantage of the river Wharfe running through it.

But while people were enjoying a cooling dip in the pool, doctors in the district have been warning people to look out for the signs of heatstroke.

Weather forecasters predicted that yesterday would be the hottest day recorded in the UK, bringing with it a risk of elderly and vulnerable people dying as a result of the extreme heat.

As well as posing a risk to health, the soaring heat led to moorland blazes and warning signs were yesterday put on all open-access land on moorland at Bingley, Addingham, Haworth and Keighley, warning of tinderbox conditions with some land closed at Bingley.

Thousands of acres of moorland in the Yorkshire Dales is also out of bounds with the risk of fire exceptional' on the Met Office's fire severity index.

Councils across the country are on high alert to prevent any repetition of the experience of France in 2003 when a heatwave caused more than 15,000, mostly elderly people, to die.

A Bradford Council spokesman said it was providing information to staff on how to cope with extreme heat and issuing advice to schools and all those who worked with vulnerable adults, such as the elderly and the disabled.

"Schoolchildren should wear protective clothing such as hats and sun cream and at playtime there should be somewhere children can go to be in the shade, " said the spokesman.

Dr James Goodwin, of Help the Aged, said: "While older people who are frail, have mobility problems or heart conditions are most at risk from the heat, even healthy older people need to be aware of the risks imposed by this hot weather.

"In addition, the risks are greater for the many older people who live alone, with no-one to look out for them day to day.

"We're therefore urging everyone to make sure their older neighbours or relatives are cared for in the hot weather to come."

A heatwave can cause the body to overheat and dehydrate, leading to heart exhaustion or heat stroke.

Symptoms include headaches, nausea, an intense thirst, sleepiness, hot red and dry skin, a sudden rise in temperature, confusion, aggression, convulsions and a loss of consciousness.

Temperatures of 33 to 36C were expected yesterday - outstripping holiday hotspots such as Ibiza, Benidorm, Crete, Malta, Nice and Tenerife.

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