Craze to create a ‘David Beckham swimming pond’ takes off for Norfolk firm

A swimming pond. Pic: Richard Bloom/The Swimming Pond Company

A swimming pond. Pic: Richard Bloom/The Swimming Pond Company - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk firm is being inundated with requests to turn garden ponds into swimming lakes.

Paul Mercer, managing director of the Swimming Pond Company, based in Bressingham. Pic: www.theswimi

Paul Mercer, managing director of the Swimming Pond Company, based in Bressingham. Pic: www.theswimingpondcompany.co.uk - Credit: Archant

With more people at home in lockdown, people are looking to adapt their ponds for swimming.

David and Victoria Beckham are currently creating one at their home in the Cotswolds and Bake Off’s Prue Leith has a lake at her Oxfordshire home.

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A swimming pond. Pic: Richard Bloom/The Swimming Pond Company

A swimming pond. Pic: Richard Bloom/The Swimming Pond Company - Credit: Archant

But you’ll need a celebrity-style salary because they cost around £75,000. And, at this time of year, they’re only for the hardy becausse the water is very cold.

Paul Mercer, managing director of the Swimming Pond Company, based in Bressingham, near Diss, said the idea has really caught on during Covid with ten swimming ponds planned for customers over the next 12 months.

A swimming pond. Pic: Richard Bloom/The Swimming Pond Company

A swimming pond. Pic: Richard Bloom/The Swimming Pond Company - Credit: Archant


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He said: “In the spring lockdown, we stopped construction but the phone just kept ringing, we’ve never had so many enquiries. People were at home, the weather was fantastic. Some people had a house in London and were staying at their home in the country.

“Swimming in a pond, in crystal clear water, is a real antidote to stress. One customer described it as ‘swimming in a Monet painting’, it is fantastic and so different from swimming in a pool or the sea. It’s like swimming through rain, the water is soft, there is no smell of chemicals like chlorine, no salt. The bottom isn’t muddy or silty and the water isn’t cloudy. You don’t have to have a shower afterwards because you feel clean.”

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Mr Mercer developed the concept after going to university, aged 35, to do a landscape and garden design degree and travelling. “Some of my happiest times were swimming in rock pools in South Africa or in New Zealand, surrounded by trees, and a swimming pond is all about bringing that experience to your own home.”

You can have a pond that’s already in your garden adapted or built from scratch with the swimming part from 1.2ms to 2.4ms deep. Part of the pond will be for aquatic plants and the other for swimming, with an internal wall dividing the two, and the water needs to have a low nutrient content so no algae develops. The pond will therefore attract wildlife such as birds but you won’t end up swimming with toads or frogs. But ducks need to be discouraged, Mr Mercer said, as they’ll eat the plants and increase the nutrients.

A swimming pond. Pic: The Swimming Pond Company

A swimming pond. Pic: The Swimming Pond Company - Credit: Archant

The water is so clear, it’s safe to even take in your mouth, said Mr Mercer, because of its filter system which also helps warm the water up to 28 degrees in the summer.

David Beckham is building a swimming pond at his home. Pic: EDP

David Beckham is building a swimming pond at his home. Pic: EDP - Credit: Archant

Bake Off's Prue Leith has a swimming lake. Pic: PA

Bake Off's Prue Leith has a swimming lake. Pic: PA - Credit: Archant

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