Save Our Ponds is a new campaign to keep access to the bathing ponds on Hampstead Heath free from compulsory charging by the City of London Corporation (CoLC). It aims to:
● Sustain the unique ethos, culture and open access of the bathing ponds in perpetuity.
● Reverse the CoLC’s recent anti-democratic decision to impose compulsory payment at the bathing ponds, and take away a historic common law right of free access to all parts of the Heath.
● Secure reopening of the bathing ponds with effective voluntary payment options, and without the use of intrusive data surveillance technology to tag swimmers.
Save Our Ponds is a campaign by Forum ’71 – a bold independent initiative run by volunteers. The Forum takes its’ name from the Hampstead Heath Act of 1871 which defines the Heath as a public open space ‘that should forever remain unenclosed’.
This campaign is supported by many swimmers from all ponds
In the longer term, Forum ’71 also aims to:
● Develop a future community management model where all three bathing ponds are held in trust, to be run with full transparency and for the benefit of all Londoners – in keeping with the Mayor’s strategy to tackle health inequalities, and efforts to make London a ‘National Park City’.
● Work towards the recognition of Hampstead Heath as a legal entity with defined ‘Rights of Personhood’ – to protect it from commercial exploitation and rent extraction.
Read more about why it’s important to oppose compulsory charges