5,000 signatures reached
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 reopen 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.
The Corporation’s proposed charging regime would mean that regular swimmers must now expect to pay £624 to visit 3 times a week, an increase of 500% on the previous cost of purchasing a £125 season ticket.
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.