Page 16 - BWS DB WEB
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 Paul Mercer’s ‘show’ swimming pond at Bressingham and below right, another pond in Suffolk
Splashing out the natural way
Paul Mercer first dipped a toe into the world of natural swimming pools after studying and then working in landscape and garden design. He says: “Anyone who has ever enjoyed
swimming in a natural rock pool on a hot summer’s day will speak of a feeling of liberation and of connecting to the natural world that is simply not achieved in a conventional swimming pool. The natural swimming pond can recreate those feelings but in a garden setting. It was one thing to have a beautiful pond in the heart of the garden that could look good for 12 months of the year, but to be able to swim in it too . . . well, who needs to fly to the Mediterranean?”
Paul owns The Swimming Pond Company - now marking 14 years in business - and he has a lovely ‘show pool’ at his Bressingham home.
“Not only can we swim in it on warm summer days, but we get to look at it all year long,” he points out. “Even in the middle of winter it can look magical.
“We have a large oak deck that extends over the water and it is lovely just to sit and observe the life, not only within the water – the newts and whirligig beetles, for example – but also above and around it, such as colourful dragonflies, butterflies and birds dropping by to bathe and quench their thirst.”
So, where does the inspiration for swimming ponds come from and how is the water kept clean and crystal clear?”
Paul explains: “In nature, lakes, ponds and pools are kept clean by a combination of plants and micro-organisms including beneficial bacteria. Organic waste matter is broken down into substances that plants can absorb in the form of nutrients. It is this natural occurrence in nature that is fundamental to the swimming pond concept.”
The Swimming Pond Company, installation costs start at around £75,000 +VAT for an 80 sq m swimming pond, which has a swimming area of 40 sq m, but doubling the size does not double the cost, since the cost per square metre reduces as the area increases. Running costs only amount to the power for a small circulation pump, which would run 24 hours a day from early March through to early November.
“Providing there is enough space, a swimming pond can suit most homes,” says Paul. “Although each project is different,
typically it might take about 8-10 weeks to install a pond. We offer a design service that will guide the client through the entire process, from conception to completion.
“The ultimate aim is to design the swimming pond in such a way that it blends harmoniously into the garden and its surroundings, while being linked to the home in a stylish manner.”
For anyone considering a swimming pond go to or to find out more and discover why swimming chemical free water is such a joyful experience, you can visit the show swimming pond at The Swimming Pond Company, Carpe Diem, Common Road, Bressingham, Diss, Norfolk IP22 2BD by appointment. Tel. 01379 688000.

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