Heath swimming charges to go to the High Court

Christina Efthimiou (left) has launched a legal challenge over swimming charges at Hampstead Heath

Hampstead Heath swimmer Christina Efthimiou has been granted permission for a Judicial Review of the charges to use the Heath Ponds - Credit: Christina Efthimiou/Polly Hancock

Swimmer Christina Efthimiou's challenge to the charges to swim on Hampstead Heath will go ahead in the High Court later this year. 

Christina – who is a member of the Kenwood Ladies' Pond Association (KLPA), which is backing the legal action – applied for a judicial review of the decision to make fees mandatory. 

Represented by the law firm Leigh Day, she argues the imposition of fees breaches the Equality Act and is indirectly discriminatory towards disabled people. 

Christina said a £75.97 concessionary ticket was simply not affordable for disabled people who rely on benefits to pay out in one go.

Christina said: "The introduction of charges has priced me out of an activity that was hugely beneficial to my physical and mental health. How can it be fair that use of the ponds has effectively become the preserve of the better off and able bodied?"

The CoLC is contesting the legal action and denies the charges are unlawful or discriminatory.

A spokesperson said: "Hampstead Heath’s swimming facilities are accessible to people of all abilities and backgrounds.

“We offer a huge range of support to disabled swimmers, and our staff work hard to ensure a friendly, welcoming atmosphere."