You dream, we build…

Beauty of Natural
Swimming pools

natural swimming pools combines the advantages of a bio pool with the plus points of a swimming pond. In the natural swimming pool, the water is biologically processed via a biofilter. A separate, hydraulically separated aquatic plant basin creates a beautiful ambience. Building natural swimming pools is becoming more and more popular in the UK.

  • Chemical Free;
  • Lower Running Costs;
  • Less Maintenance;
  • Planted or unplanted.

or call now  for free no-obligation quote  07510 292 661

Custom-designed Mineral Water natural swimming pools

Custom-designed Mineral Water natural swimming pools, meticulously crafted with a focus on detail and creativity.

Ideal for wild swimming, our natural swimming pools transform your garden into a haven for local wildlife. Leveraging extensive experience in waterscape projects, River ODP handle everything from building and restoring pools and lakes to creating engaging water features such as waterfalls, cascades, man-made streams, and fountains. Natural swimming pools are an attractive and eco-friendly addition to any garden, primarily due to their chemical-free operation which is far better for local ecosystems and wildlife.

The eco-friendly design of our natural swimming pools is enabled by natural plant filtration and circulation pumps, eliminating the need for harsh chemicals to maintain cleanliness and clarity. River ODP are happy to help you conceptualise ideas and offer a range of boardwalks and jetties, enhancing both the beauty and functionality of your garden landscape. These features not only enhance the aesthetics but also increase the usability of our natural swimming pools, providing the perfect spot for sunbathing beside your crystal-clear water and or having a BBQ in the middle of the water on your very own floating pontoon, a breath-taking tranquil setting for you to spend quality time with your friends and family.

Call for free no-obligation quote  07510 292 661 or register your interest on contact page.

crystal-clear & chemical-free water

A serene natural pool comprises a swimming area and regeneration zones partitioned by subtle submerged barriers. Enchanting aquatic plants thriving in the regeneration zones are integral to your pool’s biological filtration, ensuring water balance. Additionally, our natural pools feature the esteemed Biotop water balancing technology renowned for maintaining both crystal-clear water and hygienic filtration.

What are the benefits of a natural Swimming pool?

The natural swimming  pools are water reservoirs that combine many traditional and pleasurable functions, It’s an ideal addition to the garden and a dream bathing spot for not only wild swimmers but the whole family. They are quite simply the forefront of functional aquatic landscape architecture.

The trend of building natural swimming pools arrived in UK a while ago, but with prominent figures like “Wim Hoff” propelling wild swimming and cold plunges, the trend advocating this style of living truly a harmonious and natural symbiosis between man and nature.

Ecological considerations now strongly resonate with most of us, finding application in our daily lives, overshadowing past habits and not-so-glorious customs. A reflection of these tendencies is the increasing interest in natural swimming pools, which are perfectly capable of replacing traditional pools filled to the brim with chemically treated water. However, the advantages of swimming pools over chemically treated pools do not solely stem from ecology.

Naturalistic Environment

Unlike conventional pools, natural swimming pools emulate the appearance and ambiance of natural bodies of water. They incorporate rocks, gravel, and native plants, establishing diverse habitats for a range of organisms.

Water Quality

The water in natural swimming pools is typically maintained through biological processes rather than chemicals. This means that the water remains clean and clear without harmful substances that can deter wildlife.

Direct and Year-Round Contact with Nature

Natural swimming pools are reservoirs that create the opportunity for direct interaction with the surrounding nature, and they can be practically used throughout the entire calendar year, taking on a slightly different form almost every month.

During the warmest period of the year, a natural swimming pool can serve as a swimming pool, offering the possibility of cooling off, regenerating strength, diving, and engaging in other water activities. Due to the division into appropriate zones, the natural swimming pool is able to meet the needs of users regardless of their height or age. The paddling pools found in natural swimming pools provide joy to the youngest, while beaches and piers become places of relaxation for seniors.

However, natural swimming pools fulfil their assigned functions perfectly in other months of the year as well. In spring and autumn, you can wonderfully relax by their shores, observing the changes occurring in nature. And in winter, they turn into original ice rinks, where under favourable conditions and with caution, you can glide or skate. Here at River ODP we advocate cold plunges and wild swimming, we all know the UK is cold more often then not so why not enjoy the countless heath benefits your new natural swimming pool provides, break the ice and embrace the cold.

Ecological Considerations

Thanks to the use of natural water filtration methods in natural swimming pools, human intervention in their functioning is limited, and such a pool is fully environmentally friendly. The regeneration area, often populated with abundant vegetation, is responsible for circulating and purifying the water in the reservoir. In a well-designed natural swimming pools, the water purification process occurs spontaneously and does not require the assistance of any disinfecting chemical agents. Only occasionally is there a need to use mineral-biological products or bacterial starters, such as plant fertilisers or phosphate and heavy metal absorbents. Similarly, the need for simple mechanical tools, such as a skimmer, pruner for aquatic plants, or leaf protection net, is also rare.

Call for free no-obligation quote  07510 292 661 or register your interest on contact page.

Natural look
Always clear water

Why natural swimming pools are ideal for wildlife

Natural swimming pools offer an ideal habitat for wildlife due to their eco-friendly design and integration with the surrounding environment. Here’s why they are particularly conducive to wildlife:

Naturalistic Environment

Unlike traditional swimming pools, natural swimming pools mimic the look and feel of a natural body of water. They feature rocks, gravel, and native plants, creating diverse habitats for various organisms.

Water Quality

The water in natural swimming pools is usually maintained through biological processes instead of chemicals. This ensures the water stays clean and clear without harmful substances that might deter wildlife.

Biodiversity Support

The presence of diverse plant life, including submerged, emergent, and floating species, attracts a wide range of wildlife. Birds, insects, amphibians, and even small mammals may be drawn to the pool for food, shelter, and breeding opportunities.


Natural swimming pools harbour a plethora of microorganisms that play essential roles in the ecosystem, such as breaking down organic matter and maintaining water quality. These microorganisms attract larger organisms, forming a food chain within the pool.

Safe Haven

Wildlife populations are often threatened by habitat loss and pollution. Natural swimming pools provide a sanctuary where animals can thrive away from human disturbances and pollutants commonly found in conventional water bodies.

Seasonal Variation

Natural pools experience seasonal changes in water depth, temperature, and plant growth, which mimic natural wetland ecosystems. This variability supports different species throughout the year, creating a dynamic and resilient ecosystem.

In summary, natural swimming pools offer a sustainable and biodiverse habitat for wildlife, contributing to conservation efforts and enhancing the overall ecological value of residential and commercial landscapes.

Three simple steps to realizing your dream

We’ll walk you through three simple yet essential steps for river odp to bring your vision to life. From initial design conception to the construction phase and finally, the meticulous planning of pool planting, we’ll provide you with expert insights and practical tips to ensure your natural swimming pool becomes the oasis you’ve always dreamed of. Let’s dive in!

High quality installations across South UK

Natural Swimming Pools for South East homeowners

At River.ODP, we pride ourselves on our professional installations and highly qualified builders. Based in Eastbourne, we serve the South East of England, including Kent, Surrey, West Sussex and East Sussex. Our expertise spans a wide range of property upgrades, from building stylish new natural swimming pools to replacing garden ponds to natural swimming pools , all executed to the highest standards.

For inspiration on your next home improvement project, explore some of our recently completed projects below.

Contact us today for a consultation and start your journey towards an energy-efficient, sound-reducing, and stylish addition to your home, built to last for years.

Ashford Bexhill on Sea Bognor Regis Brighton and Hove Burgess Hill Camberley Canterbury Caterham Chatham Chichester Cobham Crawley Crowborough Dartford Deal Dover East Grinstead Eastbourne Egham Epsom Esher Ewell Farnham Folkestone Frimley Gillingham Godalming Gravesend Guildford Hailsham Hastings Haywards Heath Herne Bay Horley Horsham Leatherhead Lewes Littlehampton Maidstone Margate Newhaven Northfleet Peacehaven Portslade by Sea Ramsgate Redhill Reigate Rochester Royal Tunbridge Wells Seaford Sevenoaks Shoreham by Sea Sittingbourne Staines Tonbridge Uckfield Walton-on-Thames Weybridge Whitstable Woking Worthing East Sussex West Sussex Surrey South East England

Water filtration in a natural swimming pool

A characteristic feature of natural swimming pools or swimming ponds is that the filtration of the water contained in them occurs as a result of biological, mechanical and mechanical-chemical processes. Unlike traditional swimming pools, no disinfecting chemicals are used here, which have a degrading effect on the natural environment and cause a specific odour in the tank. In order to self-purify water, appropriate vegetation, mineral substrates and filter beds selected for water parameters, as well as technologically advanced filtration devices are used.

The water in a properly designed and well-made swimming ponds or natural swimming pools is crystal clear, and immersion can be a real pleasure for the mind, body and soul of the user. The bathing zones of such ponds meet the most stringent aquatic requirements and can promote healing and relaxation for people suffering from skin allergies and or stress. In many European and Scandinavian countries, the construction of Swim ponds/Eco-pools is very common and wide spread. The River ODP team acknowledge this and pride ourselves on being at the forefront of this very fashionable but rewarding trend of healthy living here in the UK.

What is used to filter water in natural swimming pools?

  • Repositioning plants and marsh filters properly selected for the specificity of the pond.
  • Selected microbiological products such as EcoGerm Lakes
  • Bacterial starters such as EcoGerm Starter
  • Mineral phosphate adsorbents PhosSorb and safe preparations eliminating filamentous algae AlgoSplit
  • Natural mineral and filtration deposits, e.g.: BioChalix , BioPorif , BioKalonit , BioZeolite .
  • Simple mechanical devices, e.g. sludge and mud vacuum cleaners, nets and pickups
  • Specialized filtration systems and biological and mechanical filters of the HydroGravity type.
  • UVC lamps responsible for destroying dangerous bacteria and viruses (Note: prohibited in bio pools, for optional use only!)

Read more about filtration system

A natural swimming pools forms a rich and intricate ecosystem where plants and animals thrive, providing a serene environment for garden owners to appreciate. While observing pond life and enjoying aquatic activities is delightful, clear water is essential for such experiences.

Achieving pristine water in a natural swimming pools requires careful construction of the regeneration zone, strategic selection of mineral deposits, technical equipment, and their proper utilisation. Without advanced mechanical and biological filtration systems like Oase drum filtration systems and Hydro Gravity filters, maintaining crystal-clear water with minimal sediment is challenging.

These filtration systems, combined with efficient water circulation, ensure superior water clarity to considerable depths. Unlike traditional filters, they not only trap large pollutants but also effectively remove them from the water, preventing issues like silt build-up and algae proliferation.

Proper filtration is crucial to prevent water contamination from organic debris and nutrients, which can fuel algae growth. Specialised bacteria chambers containing highly effective bacteria aid in nutrient decomposition, contributing to water purification and supporting the regeneration zone and aquatic plants.

However, many natural swimming pools, both in UK and across Europe, encounter functionality issues after the initial years of operation. Sediment accumulation in the filtration zone often leads to complete clogging, requiring costly and extensive restoration efforts. The process of removing tons of material from an established garden pond can be daunting and costly.

To avoid such challenges, River ODP urge existing natural swimming pools owners, landscape architects, and contractors to seek guidance from our specialists. By doing so, the River ODP team can prevent stress and unnecessary expenses associated with future pond reconstruction projects.

What are the benefits of natural filtration methods?

Utilising agents and mechanisms that facilitate self-purification of water offers several advantages:

  • Enjoy experiencing bathing in water comparable to the quality of pristine Alpine lakes.
  • Decreasing operational costs of the reservoir by eliminating the need for constant investment in costly chemical cleaning agents.
  • Saving time typically spent on maintaining reservoir cleanliness.
  • Ensuring a safe swimming environment without health risks.

Naturally purified water poses no threat of allergies or skin irritations, making it entirely safe even for those with heightened sensitivities. Additionally, it is harmless to birds, insects, and pets.

Investment Viability

Studies indicate that constructing a natural swimming pool may prove more economical than building a traditional pool of equivalent water surface area. For larger reservoirs exceeding 200m2, operational expenses for an ecological pond are significantly reduced. Utilising advanced water cleaning filters allows for a reduction in tank surface area. It is recommended that a comfortable swimming pool should occupy no less than 50 m2 of land. For a 60 m2 bathing zone, an additional 40 m2 is required for the regeneration area. This suggests that technologically advanced eco-pools, equipped for year-round use, can be constructed on relatively compact plots.


A natural swimming pool is an Eco-friendly alternative to traditional swimming pools that uses plants and biological processes for water filtration instead of chemicals. These pools typically consist of a swimming area and a regeneration zone with aquatic plants that help maintain clear and clean water. River.ODP specialises in designing and building natural swimming pools that blend seamlessly into your landscape while promoting biodiversity.

A natural swimming pools works by using a combination of biological and mechanical processes to filter the water. The pool is divided into two zones: the swimming area and the regeneration zone. Water circulates between these zones with the help of a pump. The plants in the regeneration zone absorb nutrients and impurities, while beneficial bacteria break down organic matter, keeping the water clean and clear. River.ODP ensures that these systems are perfectly balanced for optimal performance.

The cost of building a natural swimming pool in the UK typically ranges from £300 to £600 per square meter. For an average-sized pool, this can amount to between £60,000 and £130,000. The exact cost depends on factors such as size, complexity, site conditions, and the specific materials used. River.ODP offers tailored quotes to ensure your natural swimming pool fits your budget while meeting all design and functional requirements.

Natural swimming pools built by River.ODP can vary in depth, but the typical depth ranges from 1.5 to 2.5 meters for the swimming area. This depth provides a comfortable and safe swimming experience while supporting the pool’s natural filtration system. The regeneration zone, which houses the plants, is usually around 30 cm deep to facilitate effective water purification.

In most cases, planning permission is not required for a natural swimming pools unless your property is in a protected area such as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB) or a conservation area. However, it is always best to check with your local planning authority to ensure compliance with local regulations. River.ODP can assist you in navigating the planning process to ensure all legal requirements are met.

Yes, it is possible to heat a natural swimming pools. Although many people appreciate the natural temperature variations, heating a natural swimming pool can extend its usability throughout the year. At River.ODP, we recommend using eco-friendly heating options such as solar panels or heat pumps to maintain the sustainable ethos of a natural swimming pool. These methods effectively increase the water temperature without compromising the natural balance of your swimming pool.

The time it takes to heat a natural swimming pool naturally depends on several factors, including the size of the pool, the amount of sunlight it receives, and the ambient temperature. Typically, a natural swimming pool can take a few days to a week to reach a comfortable swimming temperature during warm, sunny weather. At River.ODP, we design natural swimming pools to maximise exposure to sunlight, which helps in naturally heating the pool more efficiently.

The cheapest way to heat a natural swimming pool in the UK is by using solar heating methods. Solar covers and solar panels are effective and environmentally friendly options that harness the sun’s energy to warm the water. Here at River.ODP, we recommend solar heating systems as they provide a cost-effective solution for maintaining a pleasant temperature in your natural swimming pool without incurring high energy costs.

A natural swimming pool can be designed to fit various sizes, making them suitable for small spaces as well. The smallest practical size for a natural swimming pool is typically around 30 square meters. The River.ODP team specialise in customising natural swimming pools to fit your available space, ensuring that even smaller natural swimming pools maintain there functionality and aesthetic appeal.

The minimum size for a natural swimming pool generally starts at about 30 square meters, with the swimming area being around 15 square meters and the regeneration zone taking up the rest. This balance is crucial to maintain the natural filtration system. River.ODP can help you design a natural swimming pool that meets these minimum size requirements while providing a beautiful and functional swimming environment. Small sizes are possible but would require one of the River.ODP team to asses the proposed location.

Building a natural swimming pool involves several key steps to ensure it functions correctly and remains sustainable. Here at River.ODP, we follow a comprehensive process, as an example below:

  1. Planning and Design: Determine the size, shape, and location of your natural swimming pool. Consider factors such as sunlight exposure and landscape integration.
  2. Excavation: Excavate the area for both the swimming zone and the regeneration zone.
  3. Liner Installation: Install a high-quality pond liner to prevent leaks.
  4. Gravel and Planting: Add layers of gravel and plant aquatic vegetation in the regeneration zone to facilitate natural filtration.
  5. Water Circulation: Install a pump to ensure continuous water movement between the swimming and regeneration zones.
  6. Finishing Touches: Add finishing touches such as landscaping around the pool and installing any additional features like waterfalls, decking, patios and or balustrades.

River.ODP ensures that each step is carried out with precision and care to create a sustainable and beautiful natural swimming pool that enhances and complements your outdoor space.

A freshwater swimming pool and a natural swimming pool both use biological filtration systems, but a living pool often incorporates more modern design elements and may use a combination of natural and mechanical filtration methods. A natural pool typically focuses more on creating a naturalistic appearance with extensive planting. River.ODP can help you choose the best option based on your aesthetic and functional preferences.

The primary difference between a natural swimming pool and a chlorine pool is the method of water purification. Natural pools use plants and biological processes to filter and clean the water, eliminating the need for chemicals. Chlorine pools rely on chemical treatments to maintain water quality. Natural pools offer a more Eco-friendly and skin-friendly swimming experience, while chlorine pools require regular chemical maintenance. River.ODP specialises in creating natural swimming pools that are both sustainable and aesthetically pleasing.

Yes, a natural swimming pools requires a pump to circulate water between the swimming area and the regeneration zone. This circulation is essential for maintaining water quality and ensuring that the plants and biological filters can effectively remove impurities. River.ODP uses and or builds energy-efficient pumps that integrate seamlessly into the natural pool system .

To convert a conventional pool into a natural swimming pool, you need to integrate a regeneration zone with aquatic plants and install a water circulation system. This process involves partially draining the existing pool, adding a pond liner if necessary, and setting up a biological filtration system. River.ODP can assess your existing pool and provide a customised plan to transform it into a natural swimming pool that maintains crystal-clear water naturally .

Keeping and raising fish in a natural swimming pool is generally not recommended as fish waste can increase nutrient levels, leading to algae growth and compromising water quality. The primary purpose of a natural swimming pool is to maintain clean water through a balance of plants and microorganisms. Adding fish disrupts this balance and requires additional maintenance. River.ODP advises against adding fish to ensure the pool remains clear and healthy.

A natural swimming pools and a swimming ponds are similar in that both use natural filtration systems involving plants and biological processes. However, a natural swimming pool is designed specifically for swimming and typically includes a dedicated swimming area and a regeneration zone. A swimming pond may have a more naturalistic design and less defined separation between swimming and plant zones. River.ODP can design either option to suit your preferences and landscape .

While natural swimming pools can experience some algae growth, it is typically kept under control by the plants and biological filtration system in the regeneration zone. Proper maintenance, including regular removal of debris and monitoring of water quality, helps prevent significant algae issues. River.ODP designs natural swimming pools with effective filtration systems to minimise algae growth and maintain clear water .

We River.ODP building company are situated in Eastbourne/Hailsham and carry out natural swimming pool installations around East Sussex, Kent, Surrey – South UK. As professional natural swimming pool builders and natural swimming pool contractor, we can travel to any location in the UK if needed.

River.ODP, an experienced building company and natural swimming pool contractor, designs and builds these natural swimming pool to the highest standards. We proudly serve a wide range of East Sussex, West Sussex, Kent and Surrey areas, including:
Ashford, Kent | Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex | Bognor Regis, West Sussex | Brighton and Hove, East Sussex | Burgess Hill, East Sussex | Camberley, Surrey | Canterbury, Kent | Caterham, Surrey | Chatham, Kent | Chichester, West Sussex | Cobham, Surrey | Crawley, West Sussex | Crowborough, East Sussex | Dartford, Kent | Deal, Kent | Dover, Kent | East Grinstead, West Sussex | Eastbourne, East Sussex | Egham, Surrey | Epsom, Surrey | Esher, Surrey | Ewell, Surrey | Farnham, Surrey | Folkestone, Kent | Frimley, Surrey | Gillingham, Kent | Godalming, Surrey | Gravesend, Kent | Guildford, Surrey | Hailsham, East Sussex | Hastings, East Sussex | Haywards Heath, West Sussex | Herne Bay, Kent | Horley, Surrey | Horsham, West Sussex | Leatherhead, Surrey | Lewes, East Sussex | Littlehampton, West Sussex | Maidstone, Kent | Margate, Kent | Newhaven, East Sussex | Northfleet, Kent | Peacehaven, East Sussex | Portslade by Sea, East Sussex | Ramsgate, Kent | Redhill, Surrey | Reigate, Surrey | Rochester, Kent | Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent | Seaford, East Sussex | Sevenoaks, Kent | Shoreham by Sea, West Sussex | Sittingbourne, Kent | Staines, Surrey | Tonbridge, Kent | Uckfield, East Sussex | Walton-on-Thames, Surrey | Weybridge, Surrey | Whitstable, Kent | Woking, Surrey | Worthing, West Sussex and surrounding areas.

Get in Touch

Call for free no-obligation quote  07510 292 661 or register your interest on contact page.

Contact us