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Mixed bathing pond

Following advice from a government appointed panel engineer, the City is preparing to undertake works on two chains of ponds on Hampstead Heath. This work will be mitigated by important ecological improvements and ensure the dams on Hampstead Heath can withstand extreme rainfall events.

View before and after images of the proposals.

At Camden Council's Development Control Committee on Thursday 15 January, planning permission for the Ponds Project was granted subject to conditions and a Section 106 agreement.


Hampstead Heath is fortunate in having about 30 beautiful and much-loved ponds. View an aerial map of the ponds (632KB).  Although they look natural, most are formed by man-made dams which are up to 300 years old. Three of the ponds are large enough to be classed as 'large raised reservoirs' under the Reservoir Act 1975, which means they are subject to a statutory inspection regime by a government appointed panel engineer.

Keeping North London safe from dam collapse

The City of London Corporation is responsible for ensuring that the pond dams on Hampstead Heath are safe. We have been advised that we must take action to minimize the risk to life, property and infrastructure in North London, especially in Dartmouth Park, Gospel Oak and Kentish Town. We aim to limit the works while making the dams safe and minimising the impact on the natural environment of the Heath.

Protecting and enhancing the wildlife, landscape and habitat

The proposed design takes into full account the need to preserve the Heath's landscape and habitat. Read more about the proposals in this factsheet(568KB). We have used the opportunity to make enhancements, including new paths, viewpoints and reed-beds. A team of landscape architects, ecologists and hydrologists have worked alongside engineers to ensure that the works will improve water quality and biodiversity.

See Keeping North London Safe (1MB) for further information and images of some of the proposals on the Hampstead Heath dams safety project, June 2014.

A Glossary of Terms (19KB) has been produced to aid understanding of the project.

For more information:

telephone: 020 7332 3847

14 May 2012
Last Modified:
19 January 2015