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Swimsuits ready, picnic packed, suncream on? The outdoor pool at the Severn Centre is NOW open for the summer season. So swimsuits packed please, and walk this way…

There are people who can't resist a bit of open water. Socks and shoes off they're in for a paddle or back with their swimming costume and a towel to test the water the next day. They know the joy of floating on their back under an open sky, especially when they haven't had to fork out an air fare for the privilege. And when the pool is on their doorstep they know the joy of doing this week in and week out until Autumn arrives on the doorstep.

These lido-lovers are, it seems, to be thanked for shouting out about the demise of Britain's outdoor pools, and for rallying support to keep them open. And there have been successful campaigns across the country to prove it. Just check out social media for #lidolove to see what we mean.

This summer we're celebrating our own Shropshire success story when the open air pool at the Severn Centre Highley pulls off its cover and opens for the season.

Anyone who knows and loves this pool will be familiar with its story. It was created by and for the local community in the 1970s after they'd seen too many of their own lost or injured while swimming in the River Severn and were determined to create a safe place to bathe (it's since been a pool that's provided thousands of swimming lessons for children in the area). In need of massive refurbishment a few years ago and (like so many lidos) at risk of closing, it saw the local community once again rise to the challenge, working with the Halo Leisure team who now manage the pool to raise thousands to secure its rescue and renovation.

So here it is - 25m of heated outdoor loveliness for everyone to enjoy. Just bring a picnic* (the renovation included the launch of a shaded picnic area), some sunscreen, a rug or deck chairs and enjoy this loveliest way to stay fit (see below) and healthy.

  • Picnics should not include barbecues which aren’t allowed at the Centre. Mid June sees the opening of a snack shack by the pool serving milkshakes and more. But you are welcome to bring your own picnic.

A lido with benefits

We know this open air swimming pool is the most relaxing place to hang out in the summer, but we would be remiss not to mention how truly fabulous swimming is for your health and fitness. So here's five things you should know about swimming at the outdoor pool at Severn Centre. It:

* Delivers a crucial cardio workout. Just 30 mins of laps will do. Then you can relax.

* Is the best all-round workout because it’s low impact but gets your heart rate up.

* Burns calories, faster than walking or other low-impact activities.

* Is perfect for all ages and abilities, its low impact workouts a favourite for those who suffer from arthritis, MS or other mobility issues.

* Promotes healthy sleep and is the perfect way to wind down. Just float on your back, breathe out and enjoy some cloud watching.