Save Our Ponds is a campaign by Forum ’71 – a bold and independent initiative run by volunteers.
Forum ’71 takes its’ name from the Hampstead Heath Act of 1871 which defines the Heath as a public open space that should ‘forever remain… open, unenclosed and unbuilt upon’.
Forum ’71 began on a ‘lockdown’ video chat in late May when around a dozen women – all of them pond swimmers for years or decades – asked what they could do to engage a much larger audience beyond swimmers’ associations, and give voice to the offence that many people feel about the compulsory charging regime set to take effect this summer? It quickly grew to include men, younger people, and disabled swimmers from all parts of London.
The campaign was born with a manifesto published on 4th July. A petition was started a few days later and earned nearly 1000 signatures in its’ first four days. Anyone can join the campaign.
Looking to the 150th anniversary of the Hampstead Heath Act in 2021, Forum ’71 also hopes to run events where people can commemorate this important piece of legislation for Londoners.
Updated: July 2020