An open water swimmer has donated thousands of pounds to charity to help with the upkeep of Clevedon’s Marine Lake.

Steve Price, aged 54, is the first man to complete the three channels challenge by swimming the English, Bristol and Irish channels after being inspired by visits to the lake as a child.

He has also swum in exotic locations such as New York, San Francisco and the River Nile where he met his distance swimming hero, Abu Heif.

Since moving to Clevedon in 1985, Steve regularly trained in the lake and has donated £2,500 to MARLENS – the charity which manages it – to help with maintenance costs.

He said: “The lake has given so much to me and opened up a world I’d never imagined.

“When I saw it for the first time after the renovation I felt very emotional.

“I want to help keep it this way.

“I want people to know what a special place Clevedon is for open water swimming.

“It can be dangerous so must be respected, but this unpredictability adds to the challenge – it’s never the same.

“Likewise the lake, sometimes a haven, but it too can get wild.”

Steve believes he has swum about 1,000 miles in Marine Lake over the years and has even spent 14 hours in the lake during one particularly gruelling training session.

He is now training for the two-mile jellyfish-infested Copeland Island swim in Northern Ireland which he will complete next month.

MARLENS paid tribute to Steve’s achievements and the lake itself, which is regularly used as a training ground for English Channel swimmers.

A spokesman for the charity said: “Not only does Steve continue to swim long distances, but he also gives talks, both inspiring and entertaining, across the South West on his experiences born out of Marine Lake.

“In recognition of the town’s passion for aquatics and stories such as Steve’s, MARLENS is looking to establish Marine Lake as the centre of excellence for open water swimming in Somerset.”