Hundon, Suffolk

Client Brief

On a gloriously warm summer’s day, the design process began with 3 generations of one family visiting our show swimming pond in Bressingham, South Norfolk. Clearly, after much splashing around, the design was to be inspired by its appeal to all ages.

A site survey soon followed the visit to the swimming pond and one of the first decisions to be made was where to position the swimming pond.  As it turned out it was a pretty easy decision in that there is an outdoor games room at the back of the house and behind that just enough open garden to site a swimming pond.

Caroline and Allan live in a beautiful farm house in the heart of Suffolk next door to their daughter Sophie and her husband, who have a toddler and a baby on the way at that time.

Safety, was to play a key role in the design and some kind of fencing around the swimming pond was to be considered.  With an adventurous toddler and a new baby in mind, a shallow area, in which to play was high up on the wish list too.

Since we were looking at a wide range of ages and abilities, entry into the swimming pond needed to be a little less demanding than traditional bespoke ladder steps, which we incorporate into so many of our projects.

The Design

The existing terrace at the back of the games room now leads onto an oak deck and is separated by strategic planting.  Just off the deck is a children’s paddling area set into the regeneration zone with planting on 2 sides.  Large boulders were added for organic seating.

Stone steps on the other side of the deck provide a gentle way of getting into the water.  A jetty has been positioned at the far end of the swimming pond, which adds interest and an additional way of getting in and out of the swimming pond via traditional ladder steps.

A large border of prairie style planting provides a beautiful backdrop to the swimming pond.

In the interests of safety this part of the garden has been made safe by the installation of a combination of native hedging and timber fencing, without any compromise to the look of the swimming pond.

Outdoor lighting has since extended many a summer’s day well into the late evening.

The final stage of any project is to plant all the aquatic planting.  On this occasion planting took place one Friday in mid-summer and what was so delightful for us, was seeing all 3 generations of the family gather by the swimming pond as we packed up in the late afternoon.  It is such a natural place for everyone to come together, open a bottle of wine and be at ease with the world.

This is a beautiful and much-loved swimming pond, which was completed in summer 2018.  It has an area of just under 160m² and a swimming zone of 70m.²  The depth varies between 1.2-2m.


“We have been absolutely delighted with our swimming pond. It has fitted perfectly into the garden. So much more beautiful, interesting and calming than looking at a plain rectangle of bright blue swimming pool.

On a summers evening we sit and watch the swallows dipping across the surface catching insects. The dragonflies, newts and frogs keep the grandchildren amused for hours.

All the family love to swim in the clear fresh water, our 4 year old grandson is already swimming unaided. They all love playing in the shallows. When it is too cold to swim they still get a great amount of pleasure and fun playing with boats or catching the wildlife in their nets.

Thank you Paul and your team, I know the pond will be enjoyed for many, many years to come”.

Caroline Sharples