Hurray! A victory for commonsense occurred this week as Mr Justice Burnton ruled that people are entitled to swim in Highgate Ponds on Hampstead Heath all year round. The ponds had been at risk of being closed to swimmers because the Corporation of London cannot afford full-time all-year round lifeguards and therefore were concerned about being sued for negligence should anything untoward happen to anyone. Fortunately, Mr Justice Burnton has struck a blow against the nanny state when he drew on a House of Lords ruling in 2004 in which Lord Hoffmann stated that “If people want to dive in ponds or lakes, that is their affair”.
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