Diving into Eco Living
How would you like to be able to do a spot of wild swimming in your own back garden? Imagine how invigorating and uplifting it would be to start your day with an open-air swim in clean, chemical free water. Having made their way over here from Germany and Austria, natural ponds are now popular as swimming pools, with the benefit of providing a beautiful garden feature all year round. So, should you take the plunge?
On the surface, natural swimming ponds may look easy. However, the main hazard is algae, public enemy number one to clear water. Your swimming pond will need to maintain a constant combination of plants and organisms which thrive on eating algae to prevent the water turning murky. The pond will also need a natural filter which works by pumping the water through layers of shingle to remove any debris.
With a conventional pool, chlorine keeps the water clean, but that comes with the hazards of irritated eyes and allergic reactions. Then again, natural ponds are not for the faint-hearted and you will have to overcome your fear of possibly treading on an unsuspecting creature lurking on the bottom. Though an encounter with a frog or a newt may feel a small price to pay for going back to nature.
Safety is usually the number one concern when considering any water feature in your garden, and rightly so. Conventional swimming pools can be made safe with industrial strength covers that protect children and wildlife and give you peace of mind. Covering isn’t usually possible or desirable with a swimming pond. A wonderful ecosystem and haven for wildlife from dragonflies to birds and bees, a natural pond will add year-round interest to your garden. Just be vigilant and don’t forget it’s there. And given our unpredictable great British summers, there is also the surprising option of heating a natural pond, ideally using eco panels. No one said you had to be hardy.
If you’re dreaming of a home with a swimming pond or a pool, or even river views, then Michael Graham has a selection of country properties that promise to fit the bill.