Kilham Swimming Pond

Kilham Swimming Pond

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Kilham Swimming Pond

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The site for this swimming pond was on the edge of a sleepy village in the Yorkshire Wolds, in a woodland glade surrounded by nature.

Site before
Site before work began

Our clients, keen wild swimmers and wildlife enthusiasts asked us to design and construct a swimming pond, in keeping with their ecological ethos and their surrounding wild garden.

Our brief was to create a wild looking swimming pond that blended in with the woodland setting and would improve biodiversity and make a positive impact on the environment.

Eathpool design
Earthpool Design

The challenges were to construct a swimming pond on chalky clay soil, a sloping site, with running water underground, to make it look wild and natural all without the use of concrete! 

Pool Excavation
Excavating and sculpting the pool

We designed a pool to be sculpted from the earth. Following section drawings and setting out plans meticulously we took three weeks to excavate and sculpt the pool, which looked like an inverted sand castle in the ground.

lining the pool
Lining the pool

All spoil was used to grade and level the site, the chalky sub soil being spread for sowing wildflower meadows.

Filters and pool edging

The Biotop filters were placed on a recycled Eco grid base, the pool edge is recycled plastic and we used local aggregates for drainage and construction.

The pool has a 13m long swim zone, perfect for our keen swimmers to clock up lengths. A regeneration zone wraps around the swim zone, retained by sloping earth walls which improves thermal gain. It reached 28C last summer.

Oak jetty
Oak Jetty

There is a small beach to one side for getting in slowly and an oak jetty extends out over the water for diving in.

Oak jetty
Overlooking the water

The weathered deck over the Biotop filter units is a lovely space for sitting beside the water, with green oak deck boards over a larch frame from a local sawmill.

Wetland wildflowers
Wetland wildflowers

The pool overflow runs to a swale seeded with wetland wildflowers and the entire surrounding area has been seeded with different wildflowers mixes with mown grass pathways running through.

Wetland Wildflowers
Natural planting

Our clients love their pool. They swim every day and say it feels like a spiritual experience. It feels wild and understated and like it has always been there.

Swimming pond
Finished Swimming Pond

When you walk through the wildflowers up to the water’s edge, watch the dragon flies on the water and listen to the birdsong this feels like a very special place.

Swimmers in natural pool