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To: City of London Corporation – Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen's Park Committee

Save Our Ponds - Hampstead Heath

1. Forum '71 calls on the Corporation to reverse their recent anti-democratic decision to impose compulsory charges for entry to the Hampstead Heath bathing ponds and reverse their decision to take away the historic common law right of free access to all parts of the Heath

2. Forum '71 also calls on the Corporation to open the bathing ponds with effective voluntary payment options and without the use of intrusive data surveillance technology to tag swimmers

Why is this important?

The Women’s, Men’s and Mixed bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath are world-renowned gems for wild swimming – cherished by a large and diverse community who swim in all seasons and across the decades to maintain mental and physical health. Some people come in search of quiet solitude in nature; others for community, solace or sanctuary.

The unique setting, atmosphere and inclusive ethos of the bathing ponds are threatened by the City of London Corporation’s decision to impose compulsory charges and use intrusive technology.

The Corporation has replaced voluntary payments of £2 (£1 concession) with compulsory tickets that cost £4.00 (£2.40 concession). Many pond users have previously contributed to a donation-based system but support the fight to oppose compulsory charging because it will destroy the inclusive and diverse pond community.

At a time of unprecedented health and financial emergencies, and when inequality is an urgent social concern, it is wrong for the Corporation to demand payment.
London, UK

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2021-06-15 19:05:35 +0100

The 1871 Hampstead Heath Act (after which Forum '71 is named) was one of the most important anti-enclosure pieces of legislation affecting London - securing free and open natural space for people to enjoy in perpetuity.

This year marks the 150th anniversary of the Act #heath150 which we believe has been diluted if not defiled by our current landlords, the City of London Corporation with its undemocratic imposition of access charges to bathe in the ponds.

Our public and online efforts in June (the month the Act was enacted) will focus on highlighting where and how we believe the Heath is being commodified and commercialised by Heath Management Committee Chair, Anne Fairweather, Colin Buttery, Head of Open Spaces and John Barradell, CEO of the City of London.

2021-06-15 19:04:58 +0100

Dear Supporter,

ONE MORE DAY TO DONATE - help the legal reserve fund get to £10k!

You may be aware that the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association - the official swimmers members group, has recently launched a crowd funder for their anti-discrimination lawsuit against The City.

We will be out an about in Hampstead, Highgate and South End Green to help promote this campaign on their behalf and to wax lyrical about The 1871 Heath Act.

If you'd like to volunteer an hour or more of your time and energy over the next few weeks in June to help us build and display the counter narrative to the City's trumpeting of their ponds' custodianship, please reply-to here.

Thank you for continuing to support our campaign to SAY NO TO COMPULSORY CHARGES to bathe in Hampstead Heath ponds.

2020-09-04 15:22:22 +0100

Do please take our short survey, designed to gauge the feelings of people who swim in the Ponds to the charges implemented as the Ponds have re-opened after lockdown.

Here's the link: The survey closes Saturday SEPTEMBER 5th 'round midnight, so do get your skates on! It should only take you about 5 minutes.

This survey is completely anonymous and confidential.Thanks for supporting our campaign.

2020-07-27 11:25:26 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2020-07-24 13:34:33 +0100

Dear Everyone,

Thank you all so much for your tremendous support. It is truly encouraging.

Please join us for our first Direct Action event this Sunday July 26th at noon by the Bandstand on Parliament Hill on Hampstead Heath. (near The Farmers' Market which will be open)

Spread the word to help reverse the City of London's Corporation's anti-democratic decision to impose bathing charges. Help #saveourponds by keeping them #freefromcompulsorycharges

Bring 'Cozzies on Coathangers' to illustrate how we have been #hungouttodry by our landlords, The City of London - one of the wealthiest institutions in the UK.

See you there,

Forum '71

2020-07-16 08:17:42 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2020-07-15 07:31:26 +0100

500 signatures reached

2020-07-13 14:37:16 +0100

100 signatures reached

2020-07-13 09:02:40 +0100

50 signatures reached

2020-07-12 20:20:40 +0100

25 signatures reached

2020-07-12 11:10:38 +0100

10 signatures reached