First public natural swimming pool enters final planting stage
by Alice Wright
CGI of how the pond might look
The UK’s first public natural swimming pond at King’s Cross has entered the final planting stage and is to open early next month.
Hundreds of marginal and aquatic plants are being planted which will play a vital role in the natural purification of the 40 metre long, chemical-free pond. Among them are oxygenating plants such as Lagarosiphon major (curly waterweed) and Myriophyllum spicatum (water milfoil). Ornamental plants include Nuphar lutea (brandy bottle) whose bright yellow, buttercup-like flowers smell of alcohol and native waterlily Nymphaea alba which has lovely large cup-shaped white flowers.
The natural bathing pond sits in the centre of the King’s Cross development site and it’s anticipated that it will be able to accommodate more than 160 bathers. It has been designed as an art installation entitled Of Soil and Water: King’s Cross Pond Club, which aims to make people think about the relationship between nature and the urban environment.
The planting is being carried out by Kingcombe Aquacare Ltd in partnership with BIOTOP, Europe’s leading constructor of natural swimming pools and ponds.
Kingcombe’s Chairman, John Colton, said: “The King’s Cross Pond project has gone extremely well and we are delighted to be completing the final stages now with the all-important planting. The plants will take time to establish fully, but we hope by mid-summer, swimmers will be able to enjoy the array of beautiful plants and also the variety of insects and wildlife that the planted zone will attract.
“We hope this high profile site at King’s Cross will demonstrate the many benefits of natural swimming ponds to a wider audience and we hope this is the first of many public natural swimming ponds to develop across the UK.”
The final details of the pond’s opening times will be announced soon.