London wild swimming spot gets disabled hoists plus new showers and toilets as work nears completion

A Wild Swimming Women's Group take an autumnal swim at Hampstead Heath ponds.
-Credit: (Image: Hollie Fernando via Getty Images)

Work improving accessibility and safety at Hampstead Heath's ponds is nearing completion. Swimmers at the ladies', mixed and men's ponds will soon be able to enjoy the full gamut of upgrades, from hoists helping disabled people get in and out of the water to new toilet and shower facilities.

The City of London Corporation, which manages the Heath as a charity alongside a number of other green spaces, began work last year, having approved the scheme in 2022. A spokesperson for the City has now confirmed the majority of the works have been completed, with the rest to be done in the next four to eight weeks.

In a paper compiled for next week’s (June 10) Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee, City of London officers wrote that all of the hoists have now been installed, with other completed works including new sliding doors at the men's pond.

READ MORE: New toilets and changing rooms in Hampstead ponds £700,000 revamp

"Training was provided to the lifeguards at the end of March on how to use the new hoists," they added. "Heath Hands helped with some planting at the Mixed Pond to replace vegetation removed during the Ponds Access Project. They also installed new fencing to help with control of the new accessible platform."

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation told the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) the project is aimed at improving the ponds for all members of the public. As well as the hoists and new toilets and showers, there will be more accessible changing facilities, plus other measures to support those with disabilities using the ponds.

"The works are also improving safety for all swimmers, with new long windows in the lifeguards' huts in the men's and mixed ponds to give a better view of the water," they added. "We are also upgrading the observation deck at the mixed pond, to give faster lifeguard access to the water. And a new fence and gate are being installed at the ladies' pond to improve security. The vast majority of the project has been completed with remaining works set to finish in the next four to eight weeks."

The City announced last year that it would be investing more than £900,000 into the works.

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