London is great, but there are times when we all feel the urge to run screaming from the masses of people, noise, buildings, buses and general city stuff – especially as it heats up. Sure, a holiday would be bloody lovely, but you don’t always have the time, money or energy to make that happen. That’s why you need a London bolt-hole or two – an oasis of calm that you can retreat to – while still using your Oyster card.
For many, Hampstead Heath Ponds is that very place. Where else in London can you swim with ducks, surrounded by reeds and unable to see or hear a single car or person screaming into their phone? It’s bliss. But maybe not for long. The City of London has put in a planning application to Camden Council to build and enlarge flood-prevention dams on Hampstead Heath, which would cause irreversible damage to the Heath (including the ponds) and its wildlife.