Protest posters appear by 'River Cam Banksee' against Grantchester wild swimming ban
A series of hand drawn protest posters have appeared covering up the signs from King's College at Grantchester Meadows that declare a ban on wild swimming and boating on the River Cam.
The drawings are signed 'River Cam Banksee' in a humorous reference to the anonymous street artist Banksy.
They implore visitors to the meadows to "Play", "Love" and "Swim" and appeared today, Monday July 5.
Last week King's College declared a ban on swimming and boating from the banks of the River Cam in Grantchester Meadows, which they own.
They said the ban was to prevent further "erosion" of the river bank and because of reports of antisocial behaviour on the meadows as well as risks to swimmers' health and safety.
A spokesperson for King's College said: “Unfortunately, Grantchester Meadows has become a frequent site for large gatherings of individuals entering the river Cam under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, and subsequently requiring emergency medical assistance. Sadly it has become increasingly apparent that this not only causes significant problems for the emergency services, but also brings with it a serious risk to life. As such it would be irresponsible for the College to continue to encourage swimming in an area where it is unsafe to do so. However, we would be entirely supportive of the Council installing safe-swimming points on Grantchester Meadows, as it has elsewhere along the Cam."
However, a petition against the ban has gathered huge support, with more than 17k signatures so far. And the organisers updated to thank their supporters: "Your incredible response and surge of feeling for saving public access to the Meadows has had a powerful effect. We hit 10,000 supporters in two days."
Several swimmers have also been on protest swims to highlight the fact they are not doing any damage.