“For the benefit of all Londoners”: Heath bathing ponds rated ‘Good’ and ‘Excellent’ by DEFRA

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has classified Hampstead Heath’s three public bathing ponds as ‘Good’ and ‘Excellent’.

DEFRA assessed the water quality at the Heath’s swimming ponds as part of its campaign taking in 420 bathing waters in England.

The Heath’s ponds achieved the following bathing water classifications:

  • Ladies Pond: Good
  • Mixed Pond: Good
  • Men’s Pond: Excellent

To improve water quality at the Ladies’ Pond and the Men’s Pond, Heath managers introduced improvements including installing aquatic plants, desilting and fitting aerators as part of the Hampstead Heath Ponds Project, an engineering scheme designed to strengthen earth dams and improve wildlife ecology and water quality. Construction work on the Ponds Project started in April 2015 and finished in October 2016.​​

The City of London Corporation has been proud custodians of Hampstead Heath, one of London's most popular open spaces, since 1989.

The City Corporation has been compliant with the DEFRA Bathing Water Directive scheme since 2004.

Anne Fairweather, Deputy Chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath Management Committee, said:

“These results are a testament to the exceptional work of our staff.

“We are dedicated to maintaining the swimming ponds bathing water as clean for the benefit of all Londoners.”

The City of London Corporation protects and conserves 19 major green spaces in London and south east England – including Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest - and over 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile.

It manages important wildlife habitats including ancient woodlands, Sites of Scientific Interest and National Nature Reserves. They are protected from being built on by special legislation.

The City of London Corporation funds green spaces across London. Its green spaces, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They are funded by over £29million a year from the City Corporation, together with donations, sponsorship, grants and income generated on site.


Notes to editors

About the City of London Corporation:

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK.

The 19 green spaces run by the City of London Corporation are:

1. Hampstead Heath

2. Highgate Wood

3. Golders Hill Park

4. Queen’s Park

5. Epping Forest

6. Wanstead Flats

7. Wanstead Park

8. City of London Cemetery and Crematorium

9. West Ham Park

10. Burnham Beeches

11. Stoke Common

12. Ashtead Common

13. Coulsdon Common

14. Farthing Downs

15. Kenley Common

16. Riddlesdown

17. Spring Park

18. West Wickham Common

19. Over 200 small green spaces in the City of London