A sell-out audience at Harrogate’s West Park Hotel was held in rapt attention as ice swimming champion, open water swimmer extraordinaire, and amputee Jonty Warneken spoke at a fundraising event for Open Country. 

Record-breaking Jonty – the first amputee to complete the notorious North Channel swim – gave a brief history of his previous adventures before describing his formidable North Channel swim, facing freezing temperatures, choppy seas and stings from toxic jellyfish. 

Jonty’s gritty determination to persevere in the face of fear, pain, dark water, and monotony, combined with his characteristic humour, made for a riveting and inspiring evening. 

A raffle was held with prizes generously donated by West Park Hotel and Pool Bridge Farm, near York. The event raised over £500 for us, to help people with a disability to access and enjoy the countryside.

Open Country would like to thank Jonty – who is one of our Open Country trustees –  and the West Park Hotel for their kind support, and to everyone who attended. 


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