HARDY swimmers braved the elements and ventured into the Wharfe at Otley for the traditional New Year dip.

In previous years scores of swimmers have taken the plunge - cheered on by hundreds of spectators - to tackle a 20-metre stretch of the river beside Wharfemeadows Park.

But this year the coronavirus pandemic meant that a much reduced number of swimmers took to the water.

In recent years the New Year swim has been held in memory of lifesaving swimming teacher Joe Town, who died in 2011.

Each year participants have taken a dip at noon in the chilly waters to raise money for a number of charities. Normally the river would be full of swimmers - with huge crowds gather at Wharfemeadows Park to watch them brave the freezing waters.

Last year more than 90 swimmers took part in the event - with some wearing Santa hats and other costumes.