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Hampstead Heath, Men's Bathing Pond

​Sunset at the Men's Bathing Pond

Following advice from a government appointed panel engineer, the City carried out works on two chains of ponds on Hampstead Heath. This work was mitigated by important ecological improvements and ensuring the dams on Hampstead Heath can withstand extreme rainfall events.

Construction work on the Ponds Project was started in April 2015 and concluded in October 2016.​​

​Now that the construction period is over, there is a restoration period as grass and plants become established and the areas which were work compounds recover.

Why has the project taken place?

Hampstead Heath is fortunate in having about 30 beautiful and much-loved ponds. View an aerial map of the ponds (630KB). 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 were advised that we needed to take action to minimize the risk to life, property and infrastructure in North London, especially in Dartmouth Park, Gospel Oak and Kentish Town. The works have made the dams safe while minimising the impact on the natural environment of the Heath.

Protecting and enhancing the wildlife, landscape and habitat

The design takes into full account the need to preserve the Heath's landscape and habitat. We used the opportunity to make enhancements, including new paths, viewpoints and reed-beds. A team of landscape architects, ecologists and hydrologists worked alongside engineers to ensure that the works will improve water quality and biodiversity.

A Glossary of Terms (20KB) has been produced to aid understanding of the project.

Further information

pondsproject@cityoflondon.gov.uk
020 7332 3847

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