Making a splash: Safe water features to suit all the family
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Having water in your garden creates sound, movement and light and brings life, attracting nature.
Many choose ponds, which although nice to look at, unfortunately cause more than half of all toddler drownings, according to the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).
Five children under the age of six drown every year in garden ponds – deaths that are preventable, safety experts say.
In fact, of the 147 youngsters who lost their lives through drowning between 1995 and 2005, garden ponds were most frequently involved – with 58 deaths occurring. Other drowning accidents were linked to outdoor containers (10), residential swimming pools (22) and baths (57).
There are safer ways to incorporate water into your garden design. Fountains, sculptures and cascading ornaments are a fabulous option for those who love water but don’t want to risk a pond.
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It’s important to note that young children should not be left alone with any amount of water and while water features are safer for those with little ones, they are not entirely risk-free.
We have selected some of the weird and wonderful water features on the market to suit a variety of tastes and inspire you this summer - no matter what size your outdoor space is.
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Foras Bliss Water Feature Kits, £799 (John Lewis)
St Albans loves a bit of John Lewis and this really will stand out in your garden. Made from a block of natural rainbow sandstone, the Bliss 50 sphere water feature has natural grains and colours which come into stunning effect when the dimension of water is added.
The water well within the ball creates an ‘infinity pool’ at the top, while the water flows over and coats what will become the beautiful centerpiece of your garden.
Stowasis Versailles Stone Fountain, £529 (Greenfingers.com)
A fountain will encourage birds, which appreciate the running water and might bathe in it. Why not invest in this aspirational traditional fountain, with its fruit bowl sculpture representing the bounty of the garden? The wide bottom bowl provides a place for birds to drink and splash in, while the cascading water gives a gentle sound to aid relaxation.
Acrylic Sphere Fountain, £54.99 (Wayfair.co.uk)
This charming ceramic green frog-themed ornament might not appeal to everyone. Yet its quirkiness is perfect for adding fun to your home - indoors or out. Small enough to be used in a conservatory or living area, this self-contained water feature would provide a talking point among guests. The water recirculates, so will need replacing periodically.
Three Column Granite Water Feature, £634.99 (Primrose)
Be the envy of your friends with a solid granite feature that has integral light shining through the centre of each of the pillars. Stone and water are keys elements which no self-respecting garden, classic or modern, should be without. Its cascading sound added to the light at night makes a magical impression.
Lion Wall Fountain, £119 (Haddonstone.com)
Add a touch of stately home charm with this cast stone lion mask water feature. The handsome wall fountain is an ideal focal point for a secluded spot in your garden. It is mounted on a square stone and designed to be built into a wall, as part of a covered garden pond arrangement or on its own. It is available in a choice of colours – Portland, Bath and Terracotta.
Garda Falls Water Feature With Lights, £349.99 (Primrose)
Inspired by nature, it’s reminiscent of a mountain spring, allowing water to trickle down its front like a waterfall. Its appearance of craggy authenticity is enhanced by the moss effect on its edges. The LEDs light up the feature after dusk, making an impressive ornament.
Buddha Water Fountain, £154.99 (Wayfair.co.uk)
This strong resin construction is suitable for indoor or outdoor use for patios, gardens and conservatories. It is 67cm high, is a fully self-contained unit and comes with a pump and transformer.
Stainless Column 750mm Height Water Feature, £399.98 (www.waterfeatures2go.co.uk)
An elegant rectangular water feature made from stainless steel by skilled craftsmen. Water bubbles gently from the top and moves down the sides of the column, causing a shimmering display. Includes water pump, pebble pool and required piping.