Letter to the Spectator : Kenwood Ladies Pond

City of London Corporation letter to The Spectator:


Your piece on Hampstead Heath’s Kenwood Ladies’ Pond is an interesting read but it is wide of the mark.


It is headlined “the decline and fall of Hampstead’s ladies’ pond” but this could not be further from the truth. 


In fact, the Heath’s Bathing Ponds are more popular than ever before, with around 600 swimmers a day using the Ladies Pond in some weeks during the summer.


Hampstead Heath is a registered charity and does not make a profit.


Swimming in the ponds is one of the main activities we support financially, and we subsidised it by nearly £120,000 last year.


We offer 40% discounts to disabled people and those on low incomes and a season ticket brings the cost down to as little as £1.53 per week.


All income is reinvested back into the service to ensure affordable, sustainable, and safe outdoor swimming for generations to come.


As we recover from the pandemic, we can be proud of the hugely beneficial role that the ponds play in the physical and mental health of hundreds of thousands of people every year - and of what the Heath staff do to make that happen on a daily basis.


William Upton


City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath Management Committee