Man behind the UK’s first natural swimming pool now helps people around the world create their own

May 25, 2016 | by | 0 Comments

The man behind Britain’s first DIY natural swimming pool has inspired hundreds across the globe to build there own.

Filmmaker David Pagan Butler, created his own eco-friendly pool in his back garden and is now teaching others to do the same.

Mr Butler created a step-by-step self-build video which has been viewed more than five million times on YouTube.

The father-of-four said: “I’ve always been interested in swimming in wild water, free from chemicals, because afterwards you feel so much better than if you had swam in a conventional pool.”

David Pagan Butler and his natural pool at his home in Norfolk (SWNS)

David Pagan Butler and his natural pool at his home in Norfolk (SWNS)

Mr Butler’s DIY video and manual have been used by natural pool enthusiasts in far flung places like America, Brazil, Mongolia, Australia, France, Russia, Thailand and many other countries.

Speaking about the “wave” sweeping the world, he said: “I feel flattered to be part of this, for me making a pond is the greatest thing, people can help wildlife and help themselves, I’m just honoured to be a part of this.”

Mr Butler claims people have said they feel restored after using the pools, he added: “We have had fantastic stories about people benefiting”.

He continued: “It is taking off around the world, I put the video up years ago but in the last six months there has been a rise in interest, now I’m getting messages each week.

“It has really gripped the consciousness in some places, you could say there is wave happening, people are learning that there is a different way to conventional pools, you can have hygienically cleaned water which is cleaned by nature.”



These natural pools serve as a fresh water habitat and works entirely with an ecology of plants and animals which provide hygienic water for swimming.

As a result there is no need for chemical disinfectants like chlorine.

Mr Butler, 54, claims “if you want a really healthy water, you want to full of life, not devoid of life.”

A circulation system driven by a standard aquarium air pump moves the water through plant beds, sand, gravel down to drainage pipes and the microorganisms in that zone filter the water.

The pump only uses 30 watts, a tenth used by a regular swimming pool pumping system.

A pool in Hampshire, UK that David Pagan hepled with (SWNS)

A pool in Hampshire, UK that David Pagan hepled with (SWNS)

Eight years ago Mr Butler noticed crystal clear water in a water butt at his home in Saxthorpe, Norfolk that had a tuft of grass growing out of it.

He initially thought he had discovered something new but through research online he learned plants had been used in natural swimming pools before.

However nobody had thought to put together a how-to video to show people how they can create their own natural pools.

A pool in Canada helped by David Pagan (SWNS)

A pool in Canada helped by David Pagan (SWNS)

So he set out to film his 4.14-minute long Natural Pool – Natural Pool selfbuild video on his YouTube channel.

Mr Butler said: “Making a pond is the most effective way you can increase local biodiversity.

“Our landscape used to have thousands upon thousands of ponds, but through agricultural practice and land development most have been lost.

“By encouraging people to make organic pools for their own health, wellbeing and all round ‘joie de vivre’, they are simultaneously creating valuable habitats and stepping stones for wildlife across our landscape.”

A pool in Devon, UK that David Pagan hepled with (SWNS)

A pool in Devon, UK that David Pagan hepled with (SWNS)

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