Search

Ladies’ pond swimmers ‘will be stranded’ by Hampstead Heath dams project

09:00 24 July 2014

Mary Powell (second from right) and early morning swimmers at The Ladies Pond concerned about impact the dams project on the ladies pond being worse than previously thought - with women having nowhere to swim for three months despite previous assurances to the contrary.

Mary Powell (second from right) and early morning swimmers at The Ladies Pond concerned about impact the dams project on the ladies pond being worse than previously thought - with women having nowhere to swim for three months despite previous assurances to the contrary.

© Nigel Sutton email pictures@nigelsuttonphotography.com

Female swimmers have voiced their anger after discovering they could be barred from every bathing pond on Hampstead Heath during proposed dam engineering works.

Regulars at the Kenwood Ladies’ Bathing Pond were “horrified” to learn this week that both their pond and the Mixed Bathing Pond are expected to be out-of-bounds for up to three months at the same time.

The full scale of disruption only came to light after the City of London Corporation, which runs the Heath, lodged its planning application for the controversial dam building project with Camden Council last week.

After scouring the nearly half-a-mile of paperwork, Mary Powell, secretary of the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association (KLPA), said the plans contradict previous assurances that either the ladies’ or mixed facilities would be open at any one time.

“People are horrified,” she said.

“We had been led to believe that we would at least have access to another pond whilst the ladies pond was closed, preferably with some provision for single-sex swimming.

“There’s almost disbelief about what is actually in the planning application.”

According to the plans, the ladies’ pond will close for up to seven-and-a-half months from October 2015, with the mixed pond shut from January to March 2016.

The men’s bathing pond is scheduled to shut for three months from May 2016.

However, a City spokesman insisted yesterday: “We expect to have two swimming ponds open during the construction period, apart from a potential two-week timeframe, and during this time we will make provision for segregated swimming at all times.

“We will write to Camden Council and the Kenwood Ladies’ Pond Association to clarify the situation.”

Ms Powell, 43, is one of many regulars who visit the ponds throughout winter, cycling from her Tottenham home to swim at 7am every morning.

“It’s very important to a lot of people,” she said.

“Swimming there on a daily basis is what keeps my body and soul together.”

There is also growing concern among pond users who chose single-sex swimming for religious reasons.

One ladies’ pond swimmer from the Orthodox Jewish community, a Golders Green resident who wished to remain anonymous, told the Ham&High: “I swim throughout the year – summer and winter – and it’s going to be a terrible thing.

“It will be a catastrophe. It would affect me very much health-wise.”

The City wants to enlarge or build new dams and spillways across the Heath, so that the ponds can withstand a one in 400,000 year storm.

The scheme has been met with widespread opposition and is facing a legal challenge from the Heath and Hampstead Society.

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest News Stories

25 minutes ago
Hugo Duggan, pictured in 2010 during the family's Justice For Jeremiah campaign. Picture: Nigel Sutton

The father of a Golders Green student who died in Germany in 2003 after becoming involved with a far-right cult has finally opened a birthday card sent from his son just before his death.

14:14
Ash Court Care Centre in Kentish Town. Picture: Polly Hancock

A Filipino care home nurse who attacked four elderly dementia patients for soiling themselves has been jailed for 16 weeks.

14:10
Far-right activists have planned a demonstration in Golders Green for July 4

Mike Free MP has added to calls for the home secretary and Met Police to ban a proposed rally by far-right groups in Golders Green, after Jewish community groups branded it “anti-Semitic” and “provocative”.

08:00
Chris Underhill, Allan Rapley, Seyho Kurt, Jane Wiles,Thomas Hentges and Tala Gulamhusein are among several high street traders campaigning to get the camera removed. Picture: Nigel Sutton

Exasperated shopkeepers have branded a council traffic spy camera a waste of taxpayers’ money after it was revealed that it hasn’t been switched on in the seven months since it was installed.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Time to experience the dizzy heights of London's tallest attraction!

Morgan Pryce, commercial property experts based in London are offering one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Shard viewing platform in the city itself.

Cheers!

We’re giving you the chance to win six cases of this fab Bradshaw Chardonnay.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder