THE number of people who swim at least once a week has dropped sharply in the last ten years, figures show.

Since 2005/06, the number of adults swimming in England has fallen from 3.27 million to 2.5 million - equating to 24 per cent.

Despite the dropping level of participation, swimming remains the country's most popular mass participation sport.

The drop could be put down to many factors, including the increase in popularity of running and cycling across all generations.

It is estimated that one in every 20 adults swim at least once a week.