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78-79 NATURAL POOLS:SPN Master pages 19/11/08 09:30 Page 3
Michael Littlewood is a landscape architect influence and abuse by its owners. Regulated
ABOVE: Three natural pools all with the same
and garden designer based in Somerset. He water circulation, as well as quality control on
theme – combining the garden with pools
without any formal structure
has previously published Natural Swimming the choice of materials in the pool water and
Pools – an inspiration for harmony with filter, are crucial for water stability.
BELOW: Where does the garden end and
nature setting out the environmental health Pool architect Ian Patterson says the
the pool begin – an environmental setting
which is also a wildlife haven habitat for
and safety benefits of such pools. He interest in clients of combining the garden rare plants and animals
believes that the purely natural pool offers with a pool without formal structures and
even commercial opportunities – and longer with the benefit of working with nature not
term value for home owners. against it has been growing steadily over
Natural swimming pools are now seen as the past five years.
a combination of a swimming pool and a “I think people were not sure of how to
naturally functioning wetland, providing a go about a natural pool. Now there is the
chemical free environment to swim in and knowledge and understanding in the
a wildlife attraction. The Clear Water Team market. That confidence has seen this
add: “They can bring an essence of year a record number of natural pools
Victorian England back to the country. A under construction.”
natural swimming pool can replace some “There is also the benefit that
of the ecological function lost with the vast construction of the pool will make use of
destruction of wetlands and standing water local supplies of recycled materials. Often
around our country over the last century, the choice of materials is dictated by
whilst providing a unique, chemical free location this means costs can be driven
Why a natural
swimming experience in harmony with your down which is always an attractive thing.
natural surroundings.” “A typical pool will take three weeks to
swimming pool?
The philosophy behind water quality in a complete, depending on the level of
conventional swimming pool is to kill technology and landscaping required. Clean, clear water – no mud, no
everything. Natural pool supporters say Groundwork preparation and installation of chemicals
that there is another way. In a natural the watertight liner is carried out by trained Value for money, similar cost as
swimming pool natures’ own processes are specialists in natural pool construction. a conventional pool to build,
harnessed to produce clean, clear water. Adds Ian: ”Running costs are also a factor. but lower maintenance and
Friendly bacteria keep the water balanced Often heated swimming pools use running costs
and clean, just as nature intended. disproportionately too much energy. Low maintenance less than
The swimming area is separate from the Renewable energy options can be added to chemically treated pools
wetland, or ‘regeneration zone’, which is a heat the pool in an environmentally Year round beauty of a water
shallow area containing a permeable sustainable manner, as well as provide garden (traditional pools can be
substrate where friendly microorganisms power to the pumps. There are the benefits unsightly, especially in winter)
reeds and nutrient hungry aquatic plants of ground source heat pumps, solar thermal Increase in property value,
filter the water as it percolates through panels, wind turbines and small scale traditional pools can actually
the bed. biomass boilers. Renewable energy systems de-value
“Traditionally, swimming ponds require a can also be designed meet the requirements Wildlife enhancement – the
fairly large water volume for stability, of a nearby home if practical.” pool offers a habitat for rare
however our pools can be designed to fit any The cost of natural swimming pools is plants and animals
sized garden, from hotel grounds to small often the same as conventional swimming
town houses. It should be emphasised here pools but maintenance and running costs Natural Swimming Pools. A Guide for
how important it is to maintain certain are considerably less. Building by Michael Littlewood is
stringent design standards. Over 15 years of Existing swimming pools can be published by AgriMedia. For more
system development have allowed us to converted into natural swimming pools at a information call 01460 75515 or visit
perfect the design of a natural swimming lower cost to a new build and many are
pool, making it robust to environmental now taking this option. spn
Visit our website at DECEMBER 08 swimming pool news 79
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