Hampstead Heath ponds: Price for discounted swimming sees sharp rise

Forum '71 protesters upset at sewage problems at the Kenwood Ladies' Pond. Picture: Forum '71

Protesters for the Forum '71 group outside of the Kenwood Ladies' Pond. - Credit: Forum '71

Concessionary tickets for swimming on Hampstead Heath will rise above inflation this year. 

The City of London Corporation's (CoLC) Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen's Park committee approved a range of increases to fees and charges on the Heath last Wednesday.

The price of season tickets to swim at the bathing ponds for those eligible for discounts has risen well-above inflation, from £33 to £40.11 for six months (21% increase) or £66 to £75.97 for a year,

 The increase is because the CoLC wants all concessions to be a 40% discount on full price.

The committee was split on the issue, with five members - including former chair Karina Dostalova - voting against it. But a majority of 9-5 agreed the change.

Defending the move, Oliver Sells - chair of the CoLC's open spaces committee - said it cannot afford a "race to the bottom" when it comes to ticket prices across CoLC services.

Mary Powell and Ruth Hallgarten of the Kenwood Ladies Pond Association (KLPA) called the increases "eye-watering" and said they would "hit hardest those who can least afford it".