Lockdown splash out: British brothers dig rainwater swimming pond


HOOK, England (Reuters) – Two British brothers got so bored by the coronavirus lockdown that they are digging an 8-metre (26 ft) rainwater swimming pond in their parents’ back garden.

Adam Horton, 19, and his brother Edward, 15, came up with the idea a year ago but never had the time to dig out the 50 tonnes of earth for the pond.

The coronavirus lockdown changed all that.

“We are building a swimming pool in our back garden, but it’s a swimming pond so it’s natural fresh water and we are going to have plants and stuff growing around in the shallows here,” Adam Horton told Reuters from inside the hole.

“When lockdown came around we had loads of time on our hands – it was the perfect opportunity to get it done,” said Horton.

They have dug all day every day for a week for the pond which will be 4 metres wide, 2 metres deep at the jumping end and 1.2 metres at the shallow end. It doesn’t have a traditional mechanical or chemical filter but plants will keep it clean.

The giant rectangular pond – as yet without rainwater – now scars the lush green lawn of the garden near Hook, about 50 miles west of London. A puzzled Boxer dog named Floyd looks on.

Why did their parents allow it?

“I’ll be honest: I didn’t let my children do it,” said their father, Jon Horton, 49. “My wife did.”

“I said ‘no’ to it because of the work that would be involved. But they convinced me, they changed my mind,” he said with a smile. “They have really impressed me.”

Edward Horton said it should be ready by the start of July.

“Last summer it was really hot and I just wanted a swimming pool and I said to Adam that we should build one,” he said.

“We spoke to Mum and Dad about it and Dad didn’t really want to do it but we managed – he let us do it in the end.”

Writing by Guy Faulconbridge