Celebrities Joanna Lumley and Bill Oddie add names to Hampstead Heath swan island petition
- Credit: Polly Hancock
Broadcaster Bill Oddie has added his signature to a petition calling for a safe haven for swans on Hampstead Heath.
The former Goodies star and wildlife expert, who lives in Hampstead, has joined more than 5,100 people calling on City of London Corporation (COLC) to ban public access to an island attached to the Model Boating Pond.
Actress Joanna Lumley has also signed the petition calling for the protection of wildlife.
Mr Oddie, who supported the £23 million Hampstead Heath Ponds Project, said: “We are not being generally critical of work being done but this island should be kept as a proper island with water all around it to discourage people walking across.”
“If you make it accessible you will get whole groups of people wanting to go there for their picnics where there’s enough space elsewhere on the Heath.”
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The petition was launched by Jaime De Aguiar, Geraldine East and Ronald Cripps following a spate of swan deaths.
Mr Oddie added: “I’m willing to bet if you leave the reeds in there and close the bridge there will be several birds nesting on the island. The grebes are nesting along the side of the island which is great entertainment for the public. The swans may or may not go there. All birds need somewhere to grow up and to have a sanctuary like that would be welcome for a family of young swans. I think people would be quite pleased.”
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The City has said that a decision will be taken on future public access arrangements following discussion with the Heath’s consultative committee in March and the management committee in May.
To sign the petition click here