Changes are imminent on Hampstead Heath. The controversial project to strengthen the dams on both chains of ponds has finally been given the go-ahead. Preparatory work will start in February before things kick off in earnest in April. Whether it will be the disaster that the protestors have predicted remains to be seen but one thing is sure - there will be around two years of disruptive heavy construction affecting vast swathes of the Heath and when it's completed the landscape will be changed forever. A map on the Protect Our Ponds website shows the extent of the work.
As the Highgate Ponds are only about a 15-minute walk from my house, I've been trying to get over there as much as possible lately to document things as they are before it all changes. And I'm planning to continue this as the work progresses. You can see some of my recent pictures posted to my Hampstead Heath album on ipernity. Would anyone like to join me for a photo walk?
There isn't a particularly convenient tube to meet at so the plan is to meet at the Al Parco Pizzeria at the bottom of Highgate West Hill (map) at 11am and then walk along the Highgate chain ending up at Kenwood for lunch. Depending on the weather and what we feel like after lunch we could continue across to the Hampstead Ponds in the afternoon.
Nearest transport links are Kentish Town tube (Northern Line) or Gosppel Oak (Overground). Then from Kentish Town catch the C2 or 214 bus or from Gospel Oak catch the C11.
Note: it is likely to be muddy in places so boots or strong shoes are recommended!
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