Heath chiefs cut ribbon on new boating pond island
The City of London has so far refused to name the island
20 November, 2016 — By Dan Carrier
Virginia Rounding (in blue beret) declares the new feature officially open
THE new island on Hampstead Heath’s model boating pond was officially declared open today (Friday) – bringing to an end the controversial two year, £23m dam strengthening project.
Heath superintendent Bob Warnock joined the City of London’s chairwoman of the Heath’s management committee Virginia Rounding to cut a ribbon, allowing access along a causeway to the area that juts into the pond.
Mr Warnock said: “The aim was always to put the Heath back in a way that would mean visitors coming here in a years time would not see huge work the Heath has undergone.”
Bob Warnock and Virginia Rounding
The pair planted a new disease resistant Elm sapling on the island, and Mr Warnock added improvements in the natural habitat – including 25,000 new aquatic plants and reed beds – were already beginning to show.
He said: “We are already seeing the benefits in water quality. Swimmers say they can see their feet now when they are swimming.” The new flood defences, introduced due to government legislation, means the ponds can hold the equivalent of 61 Olympic swimming pools of extra water, and included uncovering a 30 metre stretch of the buried River Fleet.
Readers of the New Journal suggested a list of possible names for the island but the City has so far declined to pick one.