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 Taylor Butler-Eldridge

Taylor Butler-Eldridge

PhD Researcher

 Not known



Following my background in digital design and outdoor learning, alongside my interests in outdoor swimming, contemporary psychogeography, and environmental health, I am now undertaking an ESRC SWDTP-funded PhD in Human Geography. My PhD is supervised by Dr Jennifer Lea, Prof John Wylie, and Prof Jo Little, and I am part of the Cultural and Historical Geographies Research Group (CHGRG). I am also currently working on a part-time funded placement with the Freshwater Biological Association.

My PhD research traces the different health motivations, responses, and complications of outdoor swimming at Windermere, England’s largest lake in the Lake District National Park. Specifically, the research questions the different bodily, socio-cultural, political, and environmental factors that shape these relational experiences of ‘healthy’ outdoor swimming practice.

The wet ethnographic fieldwork is situated at two popular public bathing sites (Rayrigg Meadow and Millerground) at Windermere, across a full 12-month season. The methods include observing general swimming and lake activity, monitoring water and weather conditions, critically reflecting on personal embodied swim responses, and recording separate one-to-one ‘swim-along interviews’ with outdoor swimmers/dippers.

The research intends to make novel methodological contributions to health geographies and other transdisciplinary outdoor swim research, whilst encouraging broader public engagement with existing (and potential) communities invested in Windermere. For more information about the research, please visit: or get in touch via my email listed above.


  • Student Dissertation Award at the Institute of Outdoor Learning’s (IOL) Outdoor Learning Awards (2019).
  • The University of Cumbria’s (UoC) Department of Science, Natural Resources and Outdoor Studies Prize for Highest Dissertation Mark (2019).
  • UCSU Volunteer of the Year (2019).
  • (Nominated): RGS History and Philosophy of Geography Research Group Undergrad Dissertation Award (2019).


  • ESRC SWDTP Collaboration Fund (2024). Refresh: Outdoor Swimming Research Forum 2024.
  • ESRC SWDTP Impact Fund (2024). Windermere Science Evening: Dips, Depths, and Directions. Engagement Event with Louise Lavictoire (Freshwater Biological Association), Ellie Mackay and Steven Thackeray (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology), Sammy Graves (South Cumbria Rivers Trust), and Ben Surridge (Lancaster University).
  • ESRC SWDTP Impact Fund (2023). Swimming with Care at Windermere. Collaborative Research Zine with Illustrator, Bethan Thorsby (Sporadic Illustration).
  • ESRC SWDTP +3 PhD Studentship (2021 - 2024).


  • BSc (Hons) Outdoor Adventure and Environment (University of Cumbria, Ambleside) - First Class Hon (2019).
  • MRes Critical Human Geographies (University of Exeter) - Distinction (2020).


Research group links

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Research interests

  • Outdoor Swimming
  • Blue Spaces and Leisure
  • Outdoor Learning
  • Contemporary Psychogeographies and Walking Arts
  • Creative Communications
  • Neurodiversity

Conferences, Workshops, and Public Events:

  • Butler-Eldridge, T., Lavictoire, L., Mackay, E., Thackeray, S., Graves, S. and Surridge, B. (2024). Windermere Science Evening: Dips, Depths, and Directions (20 March). The Old Laundry Theatre: Bowness-on-Windermere.
  • Love Windermere Long Term Planning Stakeholder Workshop. (2023). Contributions to 20 Year Plan - Among 60 Stakeholders (29 November). Love Windermere Partnership: Castle Green Hotel, Kendal.
  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2023). Negotiating Outdoor Swimming and Environmental Health at Windermere. Cumbrian Lakes Research Forum (8 November). UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (UKCEH): Lancaster.
  • Foley, R., Olive, R., Moles, K., Sutton, S., Costa-Pinto, M., Harper, M., Lucen, L., Keegan, B., McGrath, E., Denton, H., Massey, H., Butler-Eldridge, T., McGarry, D., Worrell, R. and Luthra, M. (2023). The Blue Un/Commons: Tracing New Directions in Research on Outdoor Swimming. Health & Place. Online Workshop (20 September).
  • Griffiths, R. and Butler-Eldridge, T. (2023). Challenges, Celebrations, and Collectives: Navigating Neurodiversity in Higher Education. Neurodiversity in Higher Education Conference (15 September). University of Bristol: Bristol.
  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2023). Swimming-Along with Windermere's Fragile Waters. Doing Creative Methodologies in Health Geography. RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2023 (1 September). Royal Geographical Society (RGS): London.
  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2022). A Gentle Journey Around my Home: Taking Care with Psychogeography in a Time of Pandemic. Walking Well? Stepping Through and Beyond the Pandemic. RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2022 (1 September). Royal Geographical Society (RGS). University of Newcastle: Newcastle.
  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2021). Taking a Pedagogic Chance with Psychogeography. [online]. Teaching and Learning in Geography: Inspiring Courage and Compassion in the Pedagogic Borderlands. RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2021 (3 September). Royal Geographical Society (RGS): London.
  • Butler-Eldridge, T., Bridger, A., Richardson, T., Cole, S. and Mcphie, J. (2019). Definitions, Debates and Directions for Contemporary Psychogeography (Panel Discussion). The Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography (6 September). University of Huddersfield: Huddersfield.
  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2019). Micro-plastics, Micro-scientists and Micro-adventures: The Value of Exploring your Doorstep First. RGS Geographical Journeys: Microlectures (14 March). Royal Geographical Society (RGS): London.
  • Mcphie, J. and Butler-Eldridge, T. (2018). The Psychogeography Monopoly Game. The Fourth World Congress of Psychogeography (7 September). University of Huddersfield: Huddersfield.
  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2018). Filter Your World + -. Arts Council England Showcase (9 January). University of Cumbria: Ambleside.


  • Mcphie, J. and Butler-Eldridge, T. (2021). Slam Poetry, Giant Specs and a Psychogeography Monopoly Board: Progressive Directions for Outdoor Facilitation. In: Palmer, C. (Eds). Arts-Based Learning in Outdoor Education. Sport and Wellbeing Press: Preston.


  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2020). Restricted Rambles and Domestic Dialects: Thinking-Walking-Playing with Gentle Psychogeographies in a Time of Pandemic. MRes Critical Human Geographies. University of Exeter: Exeter.
  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2019). Mad Meanders and Chaotic Cartography: A Place for Psychogeography within Outdoor Education. BSc Outdoor Adventure and Environment. University of Cumbria: Ambleside.

Research projects

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Teaching (Postgraduate Teaching Associate):

  • GEO1313 (2022 + 2023). Learning through Place: Doing Human Geography. Bristol Fieldclass.

Guest Lectures:

  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2022 + 2024). Questioning Open-Water Swimming and Health. Querying Therapeutic Landscapes and Outdoor Psychotherapies. MA Outdoor and Experiential Learning. University of Cumbria: Ambleside.
  • Butler-Eldridge, T. (2022). Contemporary Psychogeography as Place-Based Pedagogy. Know Your Place: Place Responsive Approaches to the Outdoors. MA Outdoor and Experiential Learning. University of Cumbria: Lancaster.

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Office Hours:

I live and work in Cumbria. Please email me to organise an online meeting.

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