Meet Robbie, Calum and Jack Hudson, three brothers born in an English pie-eating county called Yorkshire. As kids these boys loved nothing more than exploring the outdoors together, whether they were kayaking with seals and porpoises in Scottish lochs, or paddling with Snappy, their big inflatable crocodile, off the beaches of Devon.
When they grew older, the Hudson brothers moved further up north and found themselves surrounded by the rolling Lake District, with its many rugged peaks and serene waters. Slowly they learned the simple joy of whiling away their summers in nature, jumping off stacks and wild swimming with friends. It was a fun way of staying healthy, whilst also relishing this diverse and ancient playground we have waiting for us outside.
A decade or so later, the three brothers stumbled into a deathly clinch, commonly referred to as adulthood. They started to notice that folk, including themselves, were growing increasingly more and more detached from the natural world. Working in cities, they suddenly felt the weight of life in the urban grind - the common monotony of a nine-to-five, when the only wildlife you see is the occasional drab pigeon or seagull... if you’re lucky!
At the same time, the brothers became aware of a sad cycle of fatigue, depression and desperation. Many of their friends were falling into similar patterns of emotion. Social anxiety had become commonplace. It seemed like the absence of nature and wild company was taking its toll on society. Also, the brothers could feel their childhood fading into distant memory, while their futures were often being man-handled by overbearing jobsworths.
So, together they decided to reunite and change their course. Thus, like a big, beautiful butterfly unfolding from its chrysalis, the Wild Swimming Brothers were born...
Little brother Jack (26) - the youngest of the Hudson brothers - is the author of Swim Wild. Writer, animal-lover and hairless Sasquatch, Jack also fancies himself as a bit of a Merman. During his teens he worked as a Lifeguard and earned his scuba chops diving in The Philippines and Indonesia. He still feels very at home in the water and can often be found floating along on the surface, when he really should be swimming.
Middle brother Calum (28) holds that irksome middle spot. He's the one who first poked the other two out of their cosy Hobbit holes and dreamed-up the River Eden swim. Through the week he works as a Sales Manager at Eventbrite. By the time the weekend comes he's usually out getting stuck into extreme triathlons, from Celt Man to The Double Brutal. He's loved the outdoors since he first picked up a thick encyclopaedia and started marvelling at millipedes, memorising species and learning about the natural world.
Big brother Robbie (30) is the eldest of the trio. He was the proverbial canary in the cage, sent down to test the gloomy mines of adulthood before the other two. Now he works as an artist in Berlin, as well as being Editor-in-chief of BOXROX. Some of his swim-inspired VARC paintings were also recently shown during a solo exhibition at the Kendal Arts Centre.
As a kid it was clear Robbie had his mum's artistic genes - he would often draw unflattering caricatures of teachers and hand-in homework scrawled with doodles.