To: London Borough of Camden

Stop Heavy Construction On Hampstead Heath

Stop Heavy Construction On Hampstead Heath

Camden Council should reject the planning application from the City of London which seeks permission to build and enlarge dams on Hampstead Heath.

You can help by signing our petition AND objecting to the planning application on the Camden website here:

Why is this important?

The City of London’s proposed dam works on Hampstead Heath will:

• Permanently disfigure the Heath
• Not eliminate the risk of downstream flooding or loss of life which the City of London claims these proposals will address

We call on Camden Council to reject the City of London’s Planning Application.

The proposed works specify massive dams, spillways, concrete walls and embankments. They include:

• Construction of a huge 40m wide by 5.6m high embankment in the Catchpit Valley;
• Construction of a massive 2.5 m dam at end of the Model Boating Pond;
• Felling at least 160 trees;
• Taking 2 years to complete;
• Estimated costs of at least £17 million;
• Inevitable and irreversible damage to the Heath and its wildlife.

The City’s rationale for these works involves a dubious interpretation of the law. It refers to a computer model of a 1 in 400,000 year “probable maximum flood” and works that would “virtually eliminate” the risk of dam collapse in the event of this flood. The works would contravene the Hampstead Heath Act of 1871 which requires that Hampstead Heath be preserved in its “natural aspect and state”.

The City became custodian of the Heath in 1989. It is now making a planning application to Camden Council to carry out the proposed works. You can also help in other ways:

• Details of the planning application and your opportunity to object directly to Camden Council can be found on the council's website.
• Donations can be made towards legal costs by the Heath & Hampstead Society (a charity) to apply for a judicial review via their website..
• Details of the DamNonsense campaign and alternative proposals to the works can be found at

Please sign this petition and forward the details to your friends, family, colleagues, colleges, trade unions, faith groups and anyone else you can think of!

Supported by:
Hampstead Heath Winter Swimming Club
Highgate Men’s Pond Association
Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association
Mixed Pond Association
Protect Our Ponds
The Hampstead Heath Anglers’ Society
The Heath & Hampstead Society
United Swimmers’ Association of Hampstead Heath


Reasons for signing

  • How can strengthening these dams justify the massive attack and earth moving on a third of the Heath?
  • I have been walking on the Heath for 30 years and I am devastated at how it has been ruined by this pointless work.
  • All it would really do anyway is move the flood somewhere else, as we learnt in relation to dredging following the last major floods.


2014-11-10 10:21:32 +0000

Judicial Review hearing is at the Royal Courts of Justice (Strand) on 13-14 November 2014. the hearing will start at 10 am each day so if you would like to see this from the public gallery, advisable to arrive by 9.30 am to clear security. Places will be limited but it will be good to demonstrate the level of public interest in this case.

2014-09-12 15:20:30 +0100

Highgate Ward Green Councillor, Siân Berry, calls for expert view on flood risk management, to make more use of natural water capture on the Heath

2014-09-11 10:53:48 +0100

Survey work carried out at Ladies' Pond this week, now open again as normal. See Ham & High report about this and potential impact of de-silting work on nesting birds if it goes ahead in March/April 2016. City intends to "discourage" nesting in advance of this work.
Ham & High report today at

2014-08-15 21:05:19 +0100

Even the engineering trade press is querying the scale of the City of London's dam proposals:

2014-08-15 14:59:55 +0100

Camden New Journal coverage of petition hand in earlier this week:

2014-08-13 20:00:58 +0100

Further TV coverage today, of the DamNonsense campaign on London Live TV:

2014-08-11 16:44:25 +0100

The petition was handed in today to Camden Council, with over 11,000 signatures. Press coverage from BBC London, ITV London, Ham & High and Camden New Journal so far.
The petition will remain live on this website so that we are able to demonstrate the continuing and growing support for the DamNonsense campaign whilst the planning application is considered.

2014-08-04 11:58:54 +0100

10,000 signatures reached

2014-07-31 11:09:20 +0100

One Week to Save Hampstead Heath - covered today in Ham & High:

There is now one week to respond to the planning consultation at

2014-07-30 15:39:37 +0100

Dam proposals covered this morning on BBC London Breakfast Show (at 1 hr 20 mins and City response at 2 hrs 20 mins):

2014-07-28 20:20:49 +0100

5,000 signatures reached

2014-07-24 17:57:24 +0100

In less than 24 hours, another 1000 signatures. Thank you to every one who is signing this and spreading the word to friends.

2014-07-24 10:33:27 +0100

See Ham & High today - article about fears of widespread disruption to swimming during proposed dam works. The details were in the small print of the planning application and contradicted previous assurances given by the City of London.

2014-07-23 11:13:44 +0100

The petition has now surpassed 2,500 signatures. Please keep telling your friends, family and colleagues about it and help to drive up the total.

Planning consultation is open until 4 August 2014, please respond via

2014-07-23 10:30:55 +0100

More coverage of Hampstead Heath dams planning application and judicial review, in Camden New Journal 22 July 2014:

2014-07-18 14:14:11 +0100

Camden New Journal article today, former Environment Secretary Owen Patterson admitted he knew nothing about the dams proposal:

2014-07-17 07:41:41 +0100

Ham & High article today about planning application, legal challenge and this petition!

2014-07-17 07:37:06 +0100

BBC London Jo Good reported from Kenwood Ladies Pond yesterday, Main item is at 1'02": There is also a mention of the proposed dam works thanks to a KLPA member who contacted the programme whilst it was on air.

2014-07-15 19:06:09 +0100

1500 signatures in less than a week and still growing. Please keep spreading the word to your friends and encourage them to sign this petition.

You can also respond directly to the Camden planning consultation at

2014-07-12 20:19:45 +0100

Update on progress of judicial review application, to oppose dam works on Hampstead Heath at:


2014-07-12 15:49:36 +0100

It has taken just three days to reach 1000 signatures, with support still coming in. Please share this petition with friends, colleagues, family, trade union contacts, faith groups and anyone else you can think of!

The Planning consultation runs until 29 July 2014. Details are available on Camden Council's website, search for planning application 2014/4332/P. If you are a Camden resident please contact your local councillor too. Find details of your local councillor at:

Thank you for your support

2014-07-12 14:44:40 +0100

1,000 signatures reached

2014-07-10 17:29:10 +0100

500 signatures reached

2014-07-09 18:20:05 +0100

100 signatures reached

2014-07-09 17:35:26 +0100

The planning application is now on the Camden council website at:

2014-07-09 17:30:19 +0100

50 signatures reached

2014-07-09 16:57:07 +0100

25 signatures reached

2014-07-09 16:39:21 +0100

10 signatures reached