Join the Society now

Is it worth bothering?
Yes it is!
  • Our founder members saved the Heath from being built on. 
  • We rescued Kenwood House and its Estate from the same fate. 
  • Our members blocked plans to build a dual carriageway through Hampstead and fought plans to build mansion blocks around the entire perimeter of the Heath. 
  • And in countless ways we continue to work to preserve all that makes the Heath and
    Hampstead so special. 
The Lime Avenue

But isn’t the Heath safe now?
No. Serious threats remain to both the Heath and Hampstead.
  • Overbuilding safety embankments on the Heath Ponds.
  • Massive new houses overlooking the Heath.
  • Thoughtless development in Hampstead.
  • Commuter cycling routes across the Heath.
  • Late licences in quiet residential streets.
  • The disappearance of local shops.
  • And the felling of fine old trees.
What can you do?
Join us! Adding weight to our numbers adds weight to our arguments. The more people we represent, the more clout we carry:
  • To challenge every planning application likely to harm Hampstead.
  • To support local businesses through the Hampstead Card
  • To continue successful campaigns like our opposition to late night opening in quiet residential streets.
  • To improve neglected areas like the Whitestone Pond. 
  • And above all to ensure we fulfil our historic aims.
Join us!
Ask yourself again. What are the Heath and Hampstead worth to you? Worth the time it will take to click the button above and register as a member. Worth the price we’re asking – we’re not asking the earth. 

What’s in it for you?
As well as the satisfaction of safeguarding the Heath and Hampstead for future generations, there are other benefits:
You'll also help support…
  • Our monthly guided walks on the Heath.
  • The Society’s memorial plaques.
  • Restoring historic street signs, street furniture and local landmarks 
  • Preserving trees.
  • And getting involved in issues that affect our members, including traffic, policing and the environment.
Dam Nonsense on the Heath ponds

This is the most important issue facing the Society, and all who love the Heath, since our foundation in 1897. Disfigurement of the Heath will not be tolerated. We will do all in our power to prevent it.

Three metre embankment
Five metre dam

We accept that the City of London Corporation has a duty to ensure the ponds are maintained in a safe condition. But the Society challenges the scale of the City’s proposed works, in particular the three metre-high embankment between the boating and men’s swimming ponds on the Highgate chain, and a new five metre-high dam above the Hampstead Mixed Bathing Pond.

We believe these proposals are as great a threat to the Heath landscape today as the works proposed by the LCC in 1895 that brought the Society into being.

Facts not abstractions

We urge the City and their advisers to make assumptions based on facts, not abstract computer models.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the Society the latest sets of design options show a significant softening of the overall impact compared to those published originally, but the options currently on offer will still permanently disfigure the Heath in a way which is not necessarily in the interests of the safety of those living downstream.

No escape of water and no deaths

The case for these enormous dam structures to be built has been promoted by some extraordinary assumptions in computer-modelled predictions of total collapse of all dams and massive loss of life. One of the earlier City reports even referred to one inaccurate mention in a local newspaper in 1975, of an alleged death which, it turned out, had nothing whatsoever to do with the Heath Ponds and did not even take place in this area. No factual record or further mention of it can be found in any of the Camden or GLC Reports of the time, or any other press reports.

The fact is that there has been no breach of any of the dams, no uncontrolled escape of water and no deaths, and never has been in the 300 year history of the ponds.

Furthermore in 'Lessons Learnt from Dam Incidents' (Environment Agency), it states categorically that:

“Fortunately...... since 1925, there has been no loss of life due to dam disasters in the UK”.

Dam Nonsense Campaign

It is vital to impress on the City that the local community recognises that the Heath is too important to be disfigured by the unnecessarily narrow application of highly improbable engineering calculations, when the interests of safety do not merit this approach. We urge you to give whatever support you can to our Dam Nonsense Campaign. For further details and updates go to our campaigning website Dam Nonsense.
campaign website
Joint statement 
on the Hampstead Heath ponds project
by the City of London
and the Heath and Hampstead Society

Cover 1013-10
Find out what's really happening in our latest newsletter:
  • Ponds latest: greatest threat to Heath landscape since foundation of Society in 1895: visual impact explained; options; realistic risk assessment; no deaths from any dam in UK since 1925; new legal approach; timetable and consultation.
  • Geology of Hamsptead
  • Kenwood Concerts - a mess?
  • Old Hampstead Rediscovered III
  • Millfield Lane - despoilation of a country lane?
  • New guided walks
  • 29 New End - another massive basement?
  • Is Hampstead still a village?

Tickets £12
Cheques to Heath and Hampstead Society
SAE by 10 Dec to:
H&HS Christmas Party
PO Box 38214, London NW3 1XD

Help wanted Join our all-volunteer Publications Team as a Picture Editor and help us acquire and organise images we can use in print and on the Web. Contact Stephen Taylor

New Guided Walks 
Discovering Hampstead's Plaques
Many famous people from all walks of life have lived in Hampstead: politicians, actors, artists, dancers, designers, scientists, statisticians, comics and cartoonists. Join us in exploring where they lived on a guided walk, also taking in our plaques on the old lock- up, fire station and watch house. Visit our Guided Walks section for details.

Ground response to basement development in Camden
A summary of the talk to the Society
on 23 May 2013
by Dr Michael de Freitas, Chartered Geologist