A natural oasis
Surrounded by the rolling Shropshire Hills, the Baron at Bucknell near Ludlow in England is a traditional free house country inn considered one of the region’s finest. Located roughly 10 minutes away from the small medieval Welsh town of Knighton, the popular pub and retreat is known for its traditional home-cooked British cuisine, warm and welcoming atmosphere, and friendly and attentive staff.
When Michael Caffyn-Parsons from Inspired By Water happened to stay at the Baron at Bucknell, he struck up a casual conversation with co-owner Phil Wright, who was considering a swimming pool as he had permission to build some luxury garden rooms. The challenge was to develop a design that enhanced the inn’s surrounds, which are designated as one of England’s ‘Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty’ (AONB) according to Natural England.
Phil and his wife Debra liked the idea that guests could swim in a natural system that seamlessly integrated with the rustic landscape.
Traditional sanitisers like chlorine are known to emit a strong odour and irritate sensitive skin, so the couple felt a healthier swimming experience could also become a unique selling point. Consequently, the goal was to create a low-maintenance, natural pool that was aesthetically pleasing to the eye and safe for guests to swim in.
Working with colleague Tim Gunning, a natural swimming pool engineer who has managed the construction of over 100 natural swimming ponds in the UK and Europe, Michael recommended a range of Waterco’s filtration and sanitation products for the Wrights’ proposed new outdoor pool.
Equipment included an Exotuff 30″ Waterco Bead Filter and Aquamite 1.25 HP pumps, which are used to draw water through the reparation area pipework. The system also includes a MultiCyclone MC 16, fitted with an automated valve so it can be flushed out by remote control.
The Multicyclone is a key feature of the system as it helps remove debris through the process of centrifugal filtration prior to reaching the filter. Furthermore, the addition of the automated valve on the waste ensures that the sediment bowl is cleaned regularly with minimal effort.
The Aquamite pump is suitable for recirculation systems used in conjunction with ponds and water features due to its compact design and energy efficiency. The range of Exotuff bead filters offers a sturdy tank design along with the lateral arrangement and water distribution headers, ensuring good mechanical and biological filtration.
Officially opened in May 2017, the 10 x 5 x 2 m swimming pool looks like a natural oasis, where guests swim in pristine water filtered by plants and microorganisms, along with Waterco’s sanitation products.
Separated from the swimming area is a 50 m2 regeneration area where impurities are absorbed by plants as nutrients and harmful bacteria are destroyed by natural water organisms.
The pool is planted so that there is something in flower from March through to September. Species include Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife), Caltha palustris (marsh marigold), aurora lily — the flowers on these turn from yellow to red in a few days — Typha minima (dwarf bulrush), Iris kaempferi (Japanese iris), Calla palustris (march calla) and Pontederia cordata (pickerel weed). The result is an aesthetically pleasing pool that merges with the inn’s surrounds and offers a safe swimming option for guests.
Phone: 02 9898 8600
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