Hampstead Heath Management Plan - the City of London Corporation

2007 – 2017
Prepared in association with
Land Use Consultants
November 2007
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY...................................................................................................................................... 4
MAJOR ISSUES ................................................................................................................................................................ 5
2. INTRODUCTION.................................................................................................................................................. 9
HAMPSTEAD HEATH ...................................................................................................................................................... 9
THE NEED FOR MANAGEMENT ........................................................................................................................................ 9
WHY PRODUCE A NEW MANAGEMENT PLAN? ................................................................................................................. 9
THE STRUCTURE OF THE NEW MANAGEMENT PLAN ....................................................................................................... 11
HOW HAS THIS PLAN BEEN PRODUCED?........................................................................................................................ 13
FUTURE PUBLIC USE ...................................................................................................................................................... 13
PUBLIC OPINION .......................................................................................................................................................... 14
PUBLIC PRESSURE ......................................................................................................................................................... 15
SUSTAINABILITY ........................................................................................................................................................... 15
ACCESS FOR DISABLED PEOPLE ...................................................................................................................................... 16
3. THE VISION.......................................................................................................................................................... 17
4. THE CHARACTER OF HAMPSTEAD HEATH ........................................................................................... 19
5. LEGAL FRAMEWORK AND POLICY OVERVIEW.................................................................................... 22
THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK .............................................................................................................................................. 22
THE LONDON STRATEGIC POLICY CONTEXT ................................................................................................................ 24
THE CITY OF LONDON’S STRATEGIC POLICY CONTEXT ................................................................................................. 24
THE CITY OF LONDON’S ROLE AS THE CUSTODIAN OF ITS OPEN SPACES ........................................................................ 26
THE OPEN SPACES DEPARTMENT OF THE CITY OF LONDON ......................................................................................... 26
MANAGEMENT, STAFFING AND FUNDING ...................................................................................................................... 26
CAMDEN AND BARNET STRATEGIC POLICY CONTEXT ................................................................................................... 28
THE ROLE OF ENGLISH HERITAGE................................................................................................................................. 30
7. ISSUES AND PROPOSALS FOR HEATH MANAGEMENT..................................................................... 33
7.1 HISTORY............................................................................................................................................................. 33
7.2 NATURAL LANDSCAPE .................................................................................................................................... 38
7.3 HYDROLOGY..................................................................................................................................................... 44
7.4 DESIGNED LANDSCAPE ................................................................................................................................... 48
7.5 BUILT ENVIRONMENT ...................................................................................................................................... 50
7.6 INFORMAL PUBLIC USE..................................................................................................................................... 56
7.7 SPORTS ............................................................................................................................................................... 63
7.8 ACCESS AND EDUCATION.............................................................................................................................. 68
8. IMPLEMENTATION AND PRIORITISATION............................................................................................. 78
© City of London
PO Box 270, Guildhall
London EC2P 2EJ
July 2008 reprint
Figure 1: Accessible open space over 50 hectares
Figure 2: Sites of Importance for Nature Conservation
Figure 3: Hampstead Heath 1871
Figure 4: Hampstead Heath 2006
Figure 5: Population density within one mile of Hampstead Heath
Figure 6: Indices of Multiple Deprivation within one mile of Hampstead Heath
Figure 7: Schools within one mile of Hampstead Heath
Figure 8: Hampstead Heath aerial watercolour
Figure 9: Hampstead Heath aerial photograph dated 2003 with veteran tree survey
Figure 10: Hampstead Heath hedgerows in c.1866
Figure 11: Hampstead Heath hedgerows in 2006
Figure 12: Management framework
Figure 13: Hampstead Heath planning policy context
Figure 14: Hampstead Heath historic features
Figure 15: Hampstead Heath by the end of the seventeenth century
Figure 16: Hampstead Heath in the early nineteenth century
Figure 17: Hampstead Heath 2006
Figure 18: Hampstead Heath broad habitat types
Figure 19: Hampstead Heath built environment
Figure 20: Facilities relating to the general public use
Figure 21: Sports facilities and areas
The Hampstead Heath Management Plan covers general policy objectives and
proposals relating to the management of Hampstead Heath for the period 2007
to 2017. This plan is the first of three parts which together will detail the
management of the Heath in this period. This plan develops policies and
proposals established in earlier management documents produced by the City
of London since it took over responsibility for the management of the Heath in
The first four chapters set out why a new management plan is needed and how
it is being produced, the vision for the future of the Heath, the essential
character of the Heath, and the legal and structural framework within which
the City of London operates.
In the later chapters the future strategy is set out in a series of ‘Overriding
Objectives’, ‘Essential Actions’ and longer term ‘Aspirational Goals’, covering
the different aspects of the management of Hampstead Heath. These are dealt
with under eight different headings – history, natural landscape, hydrology,
designed landscape, built environment, informal public use, sports, and access
and education.
Many different groups have contributed to the preparation of this report, in
particular the Heath staff. Important contributions have also come from
working groups covering the different areas, and from the outside consultants
Land Use Consultants. The City of London continues to be firmly committed to
public consultation in developing its management plans.
The management plan is an important tool in guiding the future of Hampstead
Heath. It allows staff and members of the Heath committees to stand back from
day-to-day issues, to look at their work in wider context. It helps staff to plan
and prioritise their work, and gives something against which to measure
progress. It provides a basis for public consultation, for dissemination of
information, and helps to stimulate wider public involvement.
This plan builds on previous work, providing detail and fleshing out policy and
mechanisms for setting priorities. The plan recognises the need to establish
measuring and monitoring systems. Details of strategy will be further
elaborated in Part II, and management regimes for the different areas of the
Heath will be covered in the volumes that comprise Part III. The existing
policies within the Interim Hampstead Heath Management Plan 2006–08 will
remain in force until superseded by the new management plan.
The actions needed to realise the vision of Hampstead Heath are set out under
eight section headings. In all cases accessibility, inclusivity, biodiversity and
sustainability need to be taken into account. There are potential conflicts and
overlap between the actions and aspirations, both across and within the
sections. Priorities will need to be set and conflicts resolved within the
overriding primary objective of managing and preserving the Heath as an open
space and of maintaining its unique wild and natural aspects and its ecology. The
plan concludes with an impression of what the Heath might look like in years to
Aspirations and expectations will always have to be tempered by the
constraints of a budget. Planning must be undertaken on the basis of the level of
resources available – which may fluctuate. There may, however, be the
opportunity to seek external funding to support major projects identified in this
At the heart of any new management plan for Hampstead Heath must be a
conviction that it is the natural qualities of the Heath which are its richest asset.
Any changes to the fabric or management regime of the Heath should be
undertaken with this in mind.
Major issues
Protect, conserve and interpret the historic aspects of the Heath
Compile an inventory of historic features and archive of historic materials
Use historic mapping to protect important features
Consider restoration of lost views where appropriate
Encourage historical research, and make results more readily available.
Other projects include better promotion of the Heath’s history, the
restoration of lost landscapes and undertaking an archaeological survey.
Natural Landscape
Retain and enhance the Heath’s habitats and natural resources to enable
continued enjoyment by visitors
Carry out vegetation surveys and monitor changes in the Heath’s ecology
Provide regimes for management of woodlands, hedgerows, grasslands
and ponds
Protect priority species and encourage biodiversity
Plan for climate change
Interpret the Heath’s landscape and wildlife resources.
Other projects include providing undisturbed scrubland for birds, nurturing
veteran trees and planting replacements for the future, restoring and expanding
significant habitats, further control of invasive species and encouragement of
conservation in the neighbouring areas outside the Heath.
Manage the Heath’s ponds and watercourses to enhance their nature
conservation value, reduce flood risk and address water quality problems
Carry out detailed surveys to aid development of hydrology strategy
Manage reservoirs and ponds to meet statutory obligations
Map and manage man-made surface water drainage
Improve water quality
Slow water flow in watercourses and increase surface water absorption
Review fishing policy.
Designed Landscape
Produce conservation management plans for Golders Hill Park and the
Hill Garden and explore the potential of the designed landscapes for
educational use
Achieve listing for Golders Hill Park on the English Heritage Register.
Other projects include improving the supply of information at Golders Hill
Park, and exploring the feasibility of using the Hill Garden and Pergola for
marriages and civil ceremonies.
Built Environment
Carry out a detailed Buildings Review
Maintain listed buildings and structures
Develop a conservation and maintenance programme for the built
Consider the location of refreshment facilities and provision of toilets and
drinking fountains
Ensure that new buildings and the adaptation of existing buildings are to
appropriate designs
Protect the Heath from developments that threaten its views and
Other projects include restoring and improving the Lido and Athletics Track
facilities, improving major entrances to the Heath, including Parliament Hill, and
restoring the Hill Garden and Pergola, the Pitt Arch and the Hill Garden
Informal Public Use
Recognise that the Heath’s main users are those who come for informal
activity. By far the highest percentage of these come to walk (with or
without dogs)
Recognise that the Heath is for everyone and that, as far as is reasonably
practical, recreational activities should not adversely affect others’
enjoyment or the natural aspect of the Heath
Undertake surveys of Heath use and users
Establish policy guidelines with respect to litter collection, dog-walking,
fishing, events and fairs
Commission a further review of cycling
Continue cooperation in management of sexual activity on the Heath.
Other projects include producing and implementing a management plan for the
Zoo and the Deer Enclosure at Golders Hill Park.
Establish a Sports Advisory Forum
Promote and provide for managed swimming facilities at the Swimming
Ponds and Lido
Consider development of new sports facilities if there is a demand and
subject to satisfying a series of criteria (see Essential Actions S5 and S6)
Encourage wider use of sports facilities
Monitor patterns of use of sports facilities, in order to identify
opportunities for increased use where there is spare capacity
Explore establishing a club to encompass a range of Heath sports
Explore opportunities offered by the 2012 Olympics.
Other projects include bringing underused parts of the Lido into use and
enhancing the Athletics Track Pavilion.
Access and Education
Prepare an Access Plan and consider barriers to access
Carry out a disability and an access audit for the whole Heath. Provide
and maintain an access map and consider specific publications for those
with mobility and other problems
Work with transport and service providers to improve local signage to
encourage use of public transport by visitors
Prepare an Audience Development Plan
Develop more opportunities for volunteering
Provide a safe environment for users of the Heath
Improve maps at Heath entrance points
Increase outreach work in schools and community groups
Develop an overall Interpretation Plan.
Other projects include undertaking a Traffic Management Review, looking at
the possibility of using technology to deliver information, considering the
provision of a visitor centre and where it might be located and developing
Hampstead Heath publications.
Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath is a 275 hectare open space owned and managed by the City
of London as a registered charity. It comprises a mosaic of habitats including
woodland, grassland, scrub and open water. Close to the centre of London, it is
one of the most important areas for recreation in the capital (see Figures 1 and
2). The City of London became the custodian of Hampstead Heath in 1989,
taking over from the London Residuary Body which had managed the Heath
following the abolition of the Greater London Council in 1986.
The adjacent 45 hectare Kenwood Estate, including Kenwood House, is owned
and managed by English Heritage. Although the Kenwood Estate forms an
integral part of the open space as a whole, it is not covered by this plan.
Hampstead Heath is located in the London Boroughs of Camden (230 hectares)
and Barnet (45 hectares). The City of London works closely with these two
local authorities and with English Heritage (in regard to Kenwood) and with
other bodies on matters relating to management, public use, access to the
Heath and protection of its views.
The need for management
Far from being a wholly natural environment, Hampstead Heath today is the
result of human interventions over the course of many years. For example, the
area of woodland on the Heath has expanded hugely in the last one hundred
years following cessation of grazing (see Figures 3 and 4), with the resultant loss
of original heathland, hedgerow and meadow habitats. This relationship
between woodland and other habitats on the Heath needs to be balanced
through active management. The vision and recommendations that result from
this management planning process will shape the Heath of the future and
maintain its diversity.
Why produce a new management plan?
There are many reasons for having a management plan for a site as important
and as complex as the Heath. These include:
Providing a framework for consistent, long-term management based on an
agreed set of policy priorities which identify the objectives of site
management and seek a balance between any conflicts of interest
Identifying the assets of the site and providing a definitive description
Allowing for the views of site managers, Heath users and the local
community to be heard
Establishing a dialogue with the local community so that on-going
communication can be improved
Monitoring implementation and management against an agreed set of
Guiding day-to-day work and helping increase job satisfaction
Defining team and individual responsibilities more clearly
Helping management of resources and exploring funding opportunities
Stimulating ideas and encouraging a better understanding of Heath
The City of London is committed to reviewing regularly the management plan
for Hampstead Heath. Plans were produced in 1995 and in 2000 and an
interim version relating to the years 2006–08 was produced in July 2006. The
Hampstead Heath Management Committee (see Section 5.5) set out the
structure of this current review in 2004.
The Interim Hampstead Heath Management Plan 2006–08 sets out a series of
policy statements. Those statements lack detail and it has been difficult to get a
sense of the major challenges and resourcing strategies that need to be
Previous plans have served the Heath well, but in recent years the approach to
management planning for open spaces has changed. CABE Space (the
Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment’s landscape and open
space section) and Civic Trust who manage the Green Flag Award (The Green
Flag Award, the national standard for parks and green spaces in England and
Wales, which has been awarded to Hampstead Heath annually since 1998) have
been promoting the need for more comprehensive management plans.
Adjudicators from Green Flag have also identified areas where the presentation
and content of the current policy plan could be improved.
The current plan also needs updating to reflect changes in practice and
knowledge. A carefully considered and reasoned set of priorities for
management will enable managers to seek funding and resources more
The structure of the new management plan
Given the size and complexity of Hampstead Heath, any new plan must be
comprehensive. The new plan will be divided into three separate parts, so that
it is not too unwieldy and will be easily accessible for different audiences with
different areas of interest. These will range from the general reader who wishes
to understand the City of London’s overall philosophy and the main issues and
challenges in managing the Heath, to staff on the ground who are preparing
annual work programmes. ‘Towards a Plan for the Heath’ sets out the main
challenges and issues. It is the first of the three documents which will comprise
the comprehensive Hampstead Heath Management Plan.
x Part I –Towards a plan for the Heath
This first part of the plan provides an opportunity to step back from the day-today running of the Heath and create a vision for the Heath in years to come. It
is a chance to identify tasks and opportunities that might otherwise get lost
amid the necessity of managing one of the country’s busiest open spaces every
day of the year.
This is a key scene-setting document. The early chapters establish the context
and background, while Chapter Seven explores in more depth the main issues
that emerge to influence the conservation and enhancement of the Heath.
This part of the plan does not aim to provide all of the answers nor attempt to
cover every aspect of Heath management. Many routine tasks that are
fundamental to the smooth running of the Heath are not described here. This
does not mean they are not important. For example, if litter was not cleared
for a day there would be an immediate and obvious impact on the appearance
of the Heath. Over a recent single summer weekend, for example, eight
tonnes of litter were removed.
The purpose of this document is to identify what needs to be done to conserve
the special qualities of Hampstead Heath, while assessing the potential benefits
and impact of any new initiatives. It also looks at ways of managing resources
more efficiently. Not all of the issues and projects identified in this plan can be
addressed at once; some will require additional resources.
Following approval in November 2007 by the Hampstead Heath Management
Committee of Part I of this plan, work will begin on Part II – Topic Papers, as
x Part II – Topic Papers
This section of the management plan will set out in much greater detail the
management techniques required to implement the management plan.
There will be a series of topic papers, most likely based on the headings under
Chapter Seven of Part I of the management plan (history, natural landscape
The natural landscape topic paper is likely, for example, to begin by
summarising Hampstead Heath’s nature conservation resource (such as
habitats, plants, birds, invertebrates, mammals) and explain what is special about
the place. Management history will be explored. The management techniques
required to conserve and enhance the natural resource will then be explained
(for example coppicing, hedgerow management, mowing, dead wood
management) and how these techniques will be implemented on the Heath will
be introduced. These topic papers will detail the timescales over which new
initiatives should be introduced, as well as those relating to routine tasks.
It will also identify the outputs or other measures of management which are
considered appropriate for each topic. This will provide the framework for
setting targets and measuring success for the medium term action plans and
one-year work plans described in Part III.
x Part III – Management specifications
This part of the plan will set out in detail how to apply management techniques
to each area of the Heath. There will be separate volumes for each main area
of the Heath, such as the Heath Extension, Sandy Heath etc. People who want
to know in detail how a particular part of the Heath will be managed will
probably find this volume to be of greatest interest. This part of the plan will
feed directly into the annual work programme.
The three-part comprehensive Hampstead Heath Management Plan will be
reviewed every ten years. In addition, medium term action plans will be
prepared to monitor implementation of the strategic issues. These will feed
into the business planning framework, together with annual work programmes
(see Section 8.1).
The existing policies within the Interim Hampstead Heath Management Plan
2006–08 will remain in force until Parts I and II of the new management plan
have been agreed.
How has this plan been produced?
This document brings together the ideas that have come out of the first part of
the management planning process. The process was led by Heath staff, who
have been advised by professional consultants. Integral to the process was input
from all interested organisations and members of the public.
Six working groups were established with the help of the Consultative
Committee (see Section 5.5) to review specific topics. Membership of the
groups included acknowledged experts in that field, local interest and user
groups, partner organisations and members of staff. The working groups
established were:
Natural Landscape
Built Environment
Access and Education
Some of these represent distinct categories, but inevitably others overlap and
affect each other. For example, the ancient hedgerow trees on the Heath are
both part of its history and part of its natural landscape. These trees must be
managed with reference to their historic interest and their wildlife importance,
as well as with reference to public safety.
The working groups carried out a great deal of valuable work that has been
fully considered during the production of this part of the plan and will provide
invaluable background information that will help define the detailed
management tasks in Part II and Part III.
It is appropriate that this management plan has been put together with the help
of members of the public, since a substantial part of the Heath was saved by
members of the public in the face of the threat of development.
Future public use
The Heath is a precious resource for people who come to enjoy the natural
world, whether through walking, quiet reflection, informal study, environmental
education, organised activities, physical exercise or informal play and
exploration for children. It must be maintained for the future by suitable
Increasingly, the benefits of open spaces to people’s health and well-being are
being recognised. The Value of Public Space – how high quality parks and public
spaces create economic, social and environmental value (CABE Space 2004)
highlights a number of these. They include: improving physical and mental
health, providing stimulation and interest for children and young people,
reducing crime and the fear of crime and adding to the economic value of
Demographic surveys of the surrounding residential population reveal sharp
discrepancies from relatively wealthy in the north to very poor and densely
populated to the south (see Figures 5 and 6). Local demographics change
constantly and they are likely to continue to do so. For example, Camden
Council estimates that its population will grow by around 35,000 (15%) by
2026. There is, therefore, a wide range of people with whom to engage. In the
south there are a greater number of schools which are potential Heath users
(see Figure 7).
There are conflicting demands and conflicting opinions as to how the Heath
should be managed. People see and use the Heath in different ways. Extensive
consultation on a continuing basis will yield a broad range of views to help
inform decision making.
The consultation preceding publication of this document encouraged new
contacts and relationships with a wide range of organisations and individuals.
These must be maintained and developed.
Public opinion
From August to September 2006 a relatively small visitor survey captured 376
responses. Overall, this illustrated that people are generally very happy with
Hampstead Heath and the way that it is managed. There are some potential
areas of improvement that need to be addressed. These issues are considered
in this document.
As part of the 2006 visitor survey, where expressing an opinion:
85% of respondents stated that the care and protection of nature and
wildlife was very good or good
82% of respondents stated that the facilities/services that are provided
for children and their parents were very good or good
77% of respondents stated that the sports facilities were very good or
98% of respondents stated that staff were either very helpful or helpful
96% of respondents said their impression of Hampstead Heath was very
good or good, with ‘the feeling of open space’ (22%) and ‘wild
space/beautiful area in London/feeling of being out of London’ (21%)
being the most common reasons
82% of respondents rated the standard of cleanliness and maintenance as
very good or good
82% of respondents indicated that they found it very easy or easy to get
around the Heath
68% of respondents rated the range of visitor facilities as very good or
Public pressure
For Londoners, contact with nature is of paramount importance. The Heath’s
ability to absorb the millions of visitors that it attracts needs to be addressed.
Sensitive habitats must be protected and they do require careful management.
Whether the Heath (or individual parts of it) has a maximum number of visitors
beyond which its valued qualities are diminished should be considered. This will
be addressed in Part II of the management plan to ensure that a balance is
struck between public access and the importance of safeguarding the Heath as a
natural resource.
Information should be made available to help understanding of these issues and
the responsibilities of all interested organisations.
Sustainability can be defined as the balance between providing the best
outcome for humans and the natural environment now and into the future. It
recognises that society and its members should be able to meet their own
needs while preserving biodiversity and natural ecosystems. Sustainability
affects every level of organisation, from the local neighbourhood, to the entire
Sustainability must influence all aspects of management. Specific sustainability
issues and further management actions and projects are addressed under the
topics in Chapter Seven.
The special qualities of the Heath can only be conserved effectively if the
underlying quality of the environment which supports them is maintained and
improved. Some issues including much of the air and noise pollution are
affected by influences beyond the Heath. Nevertheless, air and noise pollution
emanating from the Heath should be minimised. The Heath has an important
role to play in contributing to general environmental sustainability, including
reducing energy consumption and increasing recycling.
The influence of human activities on climate change is now recognised. The
three warmest years on record have all occurred since 1998; 19 of the
warmest 20 have been since 1980. For open spaces this presents a significant
management challenge because more extreme weather events have a dramatic
effect on hydrology, biodiversity and the built environment.
Research is ongoing nationally and locally into the possible effects of climate
change. This will help predict the effects on the local environment of the
Heath, which could be major. In turn, this will provide information on how to
help protect the Heath’s environment – for example, to take into account
effects on different tree species and to help identify priorities for improving
conservation and sustainable working practices.
Access for disabled people
The requirements of the Disability Discrimination Acts and the desire to
address accessibility to the Heath, its buildings and facilities, needs to influence
all aspects of management. Specific access issues are addressed in Chapter
Seven under Access and Education.
x The Vision
Our vision is of a beautiful and accessible piece of countryside in the city, a
place with a rich mosaic of habitats, a diverse landscape and a wealth of historic
and natural resources.
This is a vision in which a wide diversity of communities and organisations work
together so that visitors can enjoy the Heath and its amenities, including its
sporting and recreational facilities.
x The Mission
A mission statement was included in the Interim Hampstead Heath Management
Plan 2006–08. It sets out overall aims for the open space which can still be
endorsed. The statement is:
As the primary objective, to manage and preserve the Heath as an open
space and maintain its unique wild and natural aspects and its ecology
To pursue positive management policies in line with the Interim
Hampstead Heath Management Plan 2006–08 and the statutory
requirements, while maintaining a balance between competing needs
To maintain to a high standard the recreation and sporting facilities on
the Heath for the enjoyment of all members of the community
To protect the flora and fauna of the Heath and promote conservation
To develop effective consultation procedures so that all interested
parties have an input to the development and running of the Heath
To prevent encroachment and resist any development which adversely
affects any part of the Heath
To ensure the safety of all users of the Heath and the security of City
To provide information and develop public understanding of the Heath
and its ecological systems through an effective communication and
education system
To promote the personal development of all staff in order to improve
the service provided
The following additional objectives are identified:
To improve efficiency and demonstrate good financial discipline by
constantly reviewing operational procedures and all aspects of
management to ensure that the highest quality of service is provided.
To ensure that the Heath is available, welcoming and accessible for all as
far as is reasonably practicable
To ensure that it is recognised that the Heath’s main users are those
who come for informal activity and that by far the highest percentage of
these come to walk
To preserve, manage and interpret the historic artefacts, designed
gardens and significant built environment
To improve the appearance and functionality of facilities used for
organised sport, events and informal recreation
To work in an environmentally sustainable manner and to address the
challenges that climate change may bring
To work together in partnership to promote and achieve the Vision for
the Heath through co-ordinated policies and actions
To encourage volunteering on the Heath as a rewarding recreation in
itself and as a means of involving people of all ages in Heath management
To be fully engaged in the planning system as it affects views out from
the Heath and land adjacent to the Heath.
While recognising the different character areas of the Heath, the overall
strategy required to achieve this vision is to recognise and manage the Heath as
a whole (see Figure 8 and Sections 4.11 and 4.12).
x How progress will be monitored
A set of indicators, including retention of the Green Flag Award, will be used to
measure broad trends in management performance over time and to help show
progress in achieving the overall vision.
The Heath is the largest area of open space in north-west London. The views
south across London are spectacular, encompassing the whole meander of the
Thames from Greenwich to west London against a backdrop of Blackheath and
the Surrey Hills. To the west and north the panorama takes in the high spot of
Harrow and sweeps towards the Mill Hill–Totteridge Ridge. The interplay
between the Heath and the immediate surrounding townscape, including the
historic village centres of Hampstead and Highgate and the Hampstead Garden
Suburb, is noteworthy.
The scenery of the Heath is particularly varied because of its underlying geology
and topography. The Heath straddles the Hampstead–Highgate ridge of
Bagshot Sands, known as London’s Northern Heights, and also passes across
the Claygate Beds and London Clay. This results in a range of ecological
conditions, with a multitude of springs arising where the water meets the clay.
Above this is the varied landscape of woods and grasslands with strings of
ponds along the valleys. Because this landscape has its origins in the former
countryside it contains long-established features, such as hedges and trees,
which provide important continuity with past landscapes. The lines of ancient
oaks along historic boundaries are a major feature and many individual trees
are particularly significant in their own right as veteran specimens (see Figure
9). Special care is necessary to ensure the long-term survival of these vestiges
of the former landscape.
The general atmosphere of the Heath is the feature valued most by its users –
providing the opportunity to experience the ‘quiet enjoyment of nature’ in this
‘encapsulated countryside’. The Heath’s main users are those who come for
informal activity, especially walking. From the heights that afford the vantage
spots to take in views, the ground drops away into a series of folds that contain
a wonderful variety of spaces; some are intimate enough to achieve a sense of
isolation or of being in the countryside, in others it is possible to enjoy an
informal game without intruding on adjacent quiet spaces. On the lower
ground there are substantial remnants of a managed agricultural landscape,
where hedge-lines create another set of enclosed spaces. These areas are now
managed less intensively to encourage a diversity of habitats where wildlife
flourishes (see Figures 10 and 11).
There are four chains of ponds. To the south are the Hampstead and Highgate
valleys which have been dammed to create the Hampstead and Highgate ponds,
both eventually joining to feed the River Fleet. To the north there is the
Golders Hill Park chain, which has been impounded at the lower end to create
ponds in the designed landscape of the former Golders Hill Mansion, and the
Heath Extension chain; both eventually join the River Brent.
Overlaid on the natural topography is a landscape that contains a record of
centuries of human intervention. A Mesolithic settlement, industry (brickmaking, sand-quarrying etc.) and managed agriculture have all left their mark. It
was only in the nineteenth century that local people recognised that this unique
open space was being threatened by development. They rose up in opposition
to save it and to ensure that it would forever remain a publicly accessible open
space for the people of London.
Since then the landscape has continued to change, but without exploitation for
economic return. Instead there was a demand for the Heath to be managed as
little as possible, for it to remain ‘natural’. In fact, since the Heath has been so
intensively exploited in earlier centuries, the result is that it is managed as a
landscape that appears to be natural – almost a facsimile of wilderness.
For this to happen, the Heath must be actively managed. Without that, much
of the Heath would be covered in trees and scrub. There would be erosion,
loss of habitat and the water courses and ponds would become choked up and
over-rich in nutrients.
There are three designed gardens related to the Heath – Kenwood (managed
by English Heritage), the Hill Garden and Golders Hill Park. The first two are
included in the English Heritage register of Parks and Gardens of Historic
Interest in England and Wales. Kenwood has its own management plan that
was prepared by English Heritage. It is proposed that management plans for
the Hill Garden and Golders Hill Park be prepared.
The Heath is a mosaic of habitat and landscape types. It also provides a very
broad range of facilities for organised and informal sport. It may be possible to
increase sports use without designating new areas and without impinging on
other requirements.
Hampstead Heath is not a public park such as Regent’s Park or Finsbury Park,
both of which were designed and intended to have a more formal or
gardenesque appearance. Neither, as a whole, can it be compared with the
designed landscapes that are so familiar through the influence of Capability
Brown. It is better compared with a National Park, in that it has a defined area
but boasts multiple habitats.
Attempts to characterise the Heath by breaking it down into a number of
separate areas, such as Sandy Heath and the Extension, are not helpful in
establishing a vision, as this leads to debate on minutiae and a consequent lack
of focus.
This review recognises the whole extent of Hampstead Heath as one entity,
within which are particular areas that display a diversity of characteristics.
Presentation and management of the Heath should consider the place as a
Not everything has to stay the same, but it is essential to identify and to
address threats to the Heath, for example, planning applications for
developments that are adjacent to or visible from the Heath that would
adversely affect its atmosphere or landscape setting. Some well-designed
buildings, however, have had a positive impact on the Heath landscape.
The legal framework
The City of London is obliged by virtue of various Acts of Parliament and,
specifically, the provisions of the London Government Reorganisation
(Hampstead Heath) Order 1989 to manage the Heath, protect it and make it
available as open space.
The foundation legislation, the Hampstead Heath Act 1871, brought the original
Heath into public ownership with the following obligations:
Forever to keep the Heath open, unenclosed, unbuilt upon and by all
lawful means to prevent, resist and abate all encroachment on the Heath
and attempted encroachment and to protect the Heath and preserve it
as an open space
At all times to preserve as far as may be the natural aspect of the Heath
and to that end to protect the turf, gorse, heather, timber and other
trees, scrubs and brushwood thereon
Not to sell, lease, grant or in any manner dispose of any part of the
To drain, level and improve the Heath, as far only as may be from time
to time requisite, with a view to its use for purposes of health and
unrestricted exercise and recreation1.
The Heath was extended subsequently to include Golders Hill Park, the Heath
Extension and a number of other smaller additions, so that a range of legislative
provisions and supplementary Orders affect the Heath.
The 1989 Transfer Order establishes a Trust Fund, the proceeds of which may
be used to defray, in part, the cost of enhancing or replacing amenities on the
Heath. The balance is met out of the City of London’s funds, at no cost to the
It also required the creation of two statutory committees.
The Management Committee is the committee which is responsible for the
implementation of policies and programmes of work in relation to the Heath
The Hampstead Heath Act, 1871, Sections 12 to 16
and directs the staff in regard to that management. It consists of 12 elected
Members of the City of London together with representatives of the London
Boroughs of Camden and Barnet, English Nature, English Heritage, the Heath
and Hampstead Society and a representative who serves jointly on behalf of the
Open Spaces Society and the Ramblers’ Association. The Committee is chaired
by a City of London Member. It meets six times a year and undertakes a
regular programme of visits to the Heath.
The Consultative Committee makes representations to the Management
Committee about any matter which affects or is likely to affect the Heath. It is
chaired by the Chairman of the Management Committee, meets at least three
times a year, and undertakes a regular programme of visits to the Heath. It
currently comprises representatives of the following local organisations and
amenity groups: Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory Committee,
Disability in Camden, Friends of Kenwood, Hampstead Conservation Area
Advisory Committee, Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents’ Association, Heath
and Hampstead Society, Heath Hands, Highgate Conservation Area Advisory
Committee, Highgate Society, London Borough of Camden (Nature
Conservation Officer), Mansfield Conservation Area Advisory Committee/
Mansfield Neighbourhood Association, Marylebone Bird Watching Society,
Open Spaces Society, Ramblers’ Association, a representative of black and
minority ethnic communities, a representative of disabled people, three
representatives of clubs using sporting facilities on the Heath, South End Green
Association and Vale of Health Society.
There are a number of groups, organisations and interest groups who make
representations to the Superintendent and, as appropriate, through him to the
Consultative Committee. The Superintendent raises other significant matters
relating to Heath management with the Consultative Committee, which makes
representations to the Management Committee. It is the Management
Committee which directs the Superintendent and staff with regard to
management of the Heath.
The Management Committee meetings and the Consultative Committee
meetings are open to the public and to the press.
The City of London is committed to public consultation and it will continue to
work closely with the statutory Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee and
other local groups to develop and implement effective consultation procedures
for the general management of the Heath.
x Other legal provisions and obligations
There are many laws which affect open space management. These have
implications for public security, health and safety, nature conservation, sports,
access and other issues. The legislation enables local authorities to hold land,
provide services, enforce byelaws and, in some cases, impose fines.
The London strategic policy context
The London Plan (2004) developed by the Greater London Authority is the
strategic plan setting out an integrated social, economic and environmental
framework for the future development of the capital, looking forward 15 to 20
years. Clearly, local authority planning and decision-making on Hampstead
Heath must take full account of this. The London Plan is required to take
account of three themes, all of relevance to Hampstead Heath:
The health of Londoners
Equality of opportunity
Contribution to sustainable development in the United Kingdom.
Hampstead Heath can also make a significant contribution to, or be influenced
by, the Mayor of London’s biodiversity, transport and other strategies.
The Mayor of London’s Interim Strategic Planning Guidance on Tall Buildings,
Strategic Views and the Skyline in London (2001) has a significant impact upon
views from the Heath.
The City of London’s strategic policy context
The City of London is a local authority. It is the oldest in the country and is
unique in that it operates on a non-party political basis through its Lord Mayor,
Aldermen and Members of the Court of Common Council.
Although Hampstead Heath falls outside its boundary, the City of London’s
vision, policies and objectives set out within its corporate policy strategies –
principally, in this context, its Community Strategy – provide the context of the
site’s management:
The City of London will build on its success as the world’s leading international
financial and business centre, and will maintain high quality, accessible and responsive
services benefiting its communities, its neighbours, London and the nation.2
The Community Strategy – ‘The City Together: A Vision for a World Class City’ 2004-2014
The Community Strategy objectives are set out under eight main themes. Equal
opportunities and accessibility are addressed across all themes.
A world class city
A skilled and learning city
Good transport for a thriving city
A clean, pleasant and attractive city
A healthy city
A safer city
A vibrant and culturally rich city
An inclusive and outward looking city.
The themes of the Community Strategy serve to bind the objectives of the City
of London as a whole with the objectives of the City of London at Hampstead
Two specific objectives in the Community Strategy are the responsibility of the
Open Spaces Department, which is responsible for the overall management of
open spaces managed by the City of London including Hampstead Heath:
It contains six core values:
To protect and maintain open spaces and biodiversity through effective
To encourage services and initiatives which benefit wider communities
and contribute to local, regional and national prosperity.
Achieving excellence
Involving stakeholders
Valuing staff
Working in partnership
Promoting sustainability
Promoting equality of opportunity.
The chain of processes, from the Community Strategy, through the City of
London’s Policy Plan/Medium Term Strategy, other statutory and partnership plans,
to departmental business plans, site management plans and individual
performance appraisals, establishes a clear link between all the different levels
of strategy, policy, target setting, planning and action.
The City of London’s role as the custodian of its open spaces
Since the 1870s the City of London has had a policy of protecting open spaces
from development and conserving them for the enjoyment of the public. It
owns and manages approximately 4,250 hectares of open space in and around
London. In addition to Hampstead Heath, this includes Epping Forest covering
several authorities, Burnham Beeches in Buckinghamshire, West Ham Park in
the London Borough of Newham, Queen’s Park in the London Borough of
Brent, Bunhill Fields in the London Borough of Islington, five commons in
Surrey, two commons in the London Borough of Bromley and Highgate Wood
in the London Borough of Haringey.
The Open Spaces Department of the City of London
The Open Spaces Directorate, based at Guildhall in the City of London, coordinates the overall management of the department and offers advice and
support to the superintendents in the management of their individual sites. The
Directorate co-ordinates responses to corporate initiatives and produces all
reports on strategic and departmental policy issues including the Business Plan.
The individual superintendents are responsible for reporting on activities in
their areas (see Figure 12).
The City of London maintains a full list of sites and visitor information on its
website at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/openspaces and publicises the Open
Spaces Directorate number as 020 7332 3517.
The Open Spaces Department vision is that, A world class city needs a world class
environment. A series of objectives supporting that vision offer a context for the
management of Hampstead Heath (Open Spaces Department Business Plan,
Other policy documents relevant to the management of the Heath include:
Sustainability Policy
Recycling Plan 2003–08.
Management, staffing and funding
Management of the Heath and all of its facilities to a high standard and ensuring
the broadest reasonable access requires provision of a management structure,
employment of staff, provision of materials and machinery and service buildings.
The cost of employing staff represents the highest percentage of expenditure in
the annual budget, in common with other open spaces.
Compared with urban parks, many of which are locked at night, the standards
of day-to-day presentation on the Heath are very high, despite the fact that
most of it is open day and night.
In 2006 more than 130 staff were directly employed in managing and
maintaining the Heath.
x Areas of responsibility
The Superintendent oversees the managers, who are responsible for the dayto-day management of the following areas:
Conservation and Tree Management
Golders Hill Park
Leisure and Events
Parliament Hill and Technical Issues
Constabulary and Support Services
Day-to-day operations are co-ordinated from three maintenance yards and
depots located at Parliament Hill, Kenwood Nursery and Golders Hill Park. In
addition there are several ancillary depots, bases or bothys at East Heath, Vale
of Health, Highgate No.2 Pond, the Hill Garden and the Heath Extension.
The Superintendent and administrative staff are currently located at the
headquarters at Heathfield House in Archway Road, just over one kilometre
from the Heath.
Hampstead Heath is a registered charity (Charity No. 803392).
x Volunteers
Heath Hands is a volunteer organisation, a registered charity (Charity No.
1083104) and associate of the British Trust for Conservation Volunteers.
Heath Hands works with conservation, gardening and education staff to
organise practical work sessions (with up to 15 volunteers at a time several
times a week) to carry out a range of maintenance tasks, as well as survey work
and stewarding at events such as the annual Duathlon and the Race for Life.
The organisation is funded by the City of London, English Heritage and its own
fundraising programme.
Voluntary organisations provide invaluable assistance to the management of the
Heath. The London Natural History Society, for example, has a permanent
presence carrying out biological monitoring and recording. Other organisations
providing volunteer support include the Harrington Scheme and those that help
out at cross-country events.
x Management and maintenance budget
During 2006/07 the grant from the City of London private fund called City’s
Cash for the management of the Heath was just over £5.8m. An additional
£0.579m was contributed by the Hampstead Heath Trust Fund3 for the same
year. None of this is derived from current local government taxation or as a
result of grants from central government.
Aspirations and expectations will always have to be tempered by the
constraints of a budget. Planning must be undertaken on the basis of the level
of resources available – which may fluctuate. There may, however, be the
opportunity to seek external funding to support major projects identified in this
Camden and Barnet strategic policy context
One of the key purposes of this Strategy is to provide a framework for coordinating the implementation of proposals and projects. Over the past five
years a much stronger culture of partnership has been developed between the
City of London and the London Boroughs of Camden and Barnet in which the
Heath sits (see Figure 13). There are many proposals in this plan that will
require or benefit from working closely with these local authorities and with
the London Borough of Haringey which also borders the Heath for a short
All local authorities have a statutory duty to produce a Community Strategy for
their area. Both Camden and Barnet have their own Community Strategy
which sets out plans for the future. They are:
The Trust Fund was established when the City of London assumed management of the Heath and has contributed
approximately £17m to the running of the Heath over the past 15 years
Camden Together (2007 – 2012)
There are four main themes:
Creating a borough of opportunity
Balancing growth with our environment
Building strong, healthy and connected communities
A safe and vibrant place at the heart of a world city.
Barnet Sustainable Community Strategy (2006 – 2016)
There are four priorities which matter most to Barnet’s communities and can
only be tackled by partnership working:
Investing in children and young people
Safer, stronger and cleaner Barnet
Growing successfully
Healthier Barnet (including older people).
The Heath contributes to many of the themes and priorities identified above.
The strategy for the Heath needs to be closely integrated with the Community
Strategy process, in order to avoid duplication of efforts and to deliver the
broadest and most inclusive services for local communities.
Both Camden and Barnet have specific local planning policies which are outlined
in their respective Unitary Development Plans. These borough plans consider
policies and statutory obligations relating to:
Strategic and local view/viewpoints and landmarks
Natural environment (Metropolitan Open Land, open space)
Parks and gardens of special historic interest/Heritage land
Sites of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation
Metropolitan walks and green corridors/green chains
Nature conservation sites (including Sites of Special Scientific Interest
and Sites of Nature Conservation Importance)
Ancient woodlands and trees
Conservation areas/areas of special character
The built environment
Archaeological sites and monuments (including Scheduled Ancient
Archaeological priority areas.
Many of these relate to designations defined by other bodies. For example,
Sites of Special Scientific Interest are designated by Natural England.
In September 2004 a major reform of the planning system was introduced
through the Planning and Compulsory Purchase Act. As part of the reform,
Unitary Development Plans are being replaced by the Local Development
Framework. This will be made up of a series of documents based upon the old
Unitary Development Plans, which will also tie in with the London Plan.
The Community Strategies and Unitary Development Plans are supported by
other local authority documents including cultural strategies, open space
strategies, sports strategies and biodiversity action plans.
The Role of English Heritage
While the Kenwood Estate is managed by English Heritage, there is obviously a
need to liaise closely with their staff, to ensure that the management of both
areas and the boundary between them can be co-ordinated and that the visitor
experience is seamless.
Chapter Seven is organised around the eight topics developed through
extensive consultation:
Natural Landscape
Designed Landscape
Built Environment
Informal Public Use
Access and Education
Each section is divided into the headings: Context, Overriding Objective,
Essential Actions and, where appropriate, Aspirational Goals.
Context provides the background to each topic.
Overriding Objectives summarise the main purpose of each of the eight
Essential Actions are tasks that must take place if the Vision is to be achieved
and the special character of the Heath is to be retained for future generations
to enjoy. They may be achievable through the use of existing resources, by
means of the skill of staff or volunteers, or they may require additional funding
or resources. It will not be possible to pursue all of these actions at the same
time. They will therefore need to be prioritised.
Aspirational Goals are major pieces of work which require consultation,
further investigation into their feasibility and possibly substantial additional
resources. They will therefore need to be prioritised. Many are second-stage
projects that will be shaped by Essential Actions.
It should be recorded that Natural Landscape and Informal Public Use were
considered the most important topics in the consultation preceding publication
of this document.
This section of the plan addresses major issues that could or should be
undertaken to achieve the Vision for the Heath’s future. Not all of these issues
can be addressed at once, so priorities will have to be established; some will
require additional resources; some will require the support of other partners.
Before implementation, Essential Actions and Aspirational Goals must be
judged in relation to the following criteria:
General public enjoyment of the Heath
Health and safety
Impact on the natural fabric of the Heath
Criminal or civil liability and risk to reputation
Financial implications
Impact on historic features
Social inclusion
Impact on neighbours.
The issues and proposals presented in Chapter Seven have been identified
through detailed research and discussion with the working groups.
Chapter Seven does not aim to present a detailed description of every aspect
of management. More comprehensive information about Heath management is
contained in the draft Baseline Conditions and Management Issues documents
(Land Use Consultants, October 2006) and will be included in Parts II and III of
the Plan.
It has become clear, as part of the process of preparing this first part of the
comprehensive management plan, that a number of further studies and reviews
are necessary. These will further influence the process of determining priorities
and projects.
Hampstead Heath represents a rare survival of Middlesex farmland and
heathland, most of which was swept away by development in the nineteenth
and early twentieth centuries. It has a long, rich and very interesting history.
There are at least 55 principal artefacts, monuments and archaeological sites, all
of which form a vital part of the history and character of the Heath (see Figure
This history of Hampstead Heath takes a variety of forms including:
Ancient natural features
A walk across the Heath can reveal much about its underlying geology. On the
higher slopes dry, springy footsteps indicate Bagshot Sands below, laid down by
a river 25 million years ago. On the lower slopes damp, muddy strides point to
underlying London Clay, laid down under a sea 50 million years ago.
Manmade features
Despite its natural appearance, many of the Heath’s features are manmade. For
The grasslands, for the most part former farm fields, are maintained by
cutting (and, until the early 1950s, by sheep grazing), and would become
scrub and woodland if not managed (see Figures 15–17)
Most of the Highgate and Hampstead Ponds, dating from the late
sixteenth to early seventeenth century onwards, were originally dug as
reservoirs to supply the City of London
The Saxon ditch and adjacent earth bank, known to have existed by
AD986, are clearly visible in places. These and other earthworks
marked ownership and administrative boundaries
The Pound, dating from 1787, was used to store lost and unclaimed
grazing animals; a charge was made if owners wanted to reclaim them.
Place names
The surviving place names on the Heath can provide clues about the past uses
of the land. Hampstead itself means a farm site in Anglo-Saxon and was used to
describe this land as early as AD956. Highgate was the name given, in the
fourteenth century, to the toll gate set up by the Bishop of London, who was
lord of the manor of Hornsey. Other names perpetuate earlier owners or
inhabitants. The le Goldere family can be found living in the area of Golders Hill
in the fourteenth century. The name Kenwood, which was formerly known as
Caen Wood, may owe its origin to Bishop Odo, Duke of Caen, and half
brother of William the Conqueror, to whom the land was given. There is
however an alternative theory that it relates to Reginald Kentwood, who was
Dean of St Paul’s in the middle of the fifteenth century and after whom Kentish
Town was possibly named.
Documented history
The documentary sources for the history of Hampstead Heath are rich and
varied. For example, there are nearly 70 separate records surviving for the
manor of Hampstead. The earliest dates from 1272, during the reign of
Edward I. The manor belonged to Westminster Abbey and much of this
historical material is still kept in the Muniment Room of the Abbey. But there is
other material to be found in the London Metropolitan Archives, the National
Archives at Kew and even in the Dorset Record Office in Dorchester.
Associations with people and events
Gainsborough, Constable, Keats and Coleridge are just some of the artistic and
literary celebrities closely associated with the Heath.
In 1780, during the Gordon Riots, Londoners took to the streets to protest
against emancipation of Catholics. A small mob set off for Kenwood House
with the intention of putting to the torch the Earl of Mansfield’s house – he was
perceived as being pro-Catholic. They were, however, distracted by the liquid
pleasures offered by the landlord of the Spaniards Inn who offered an unlimited
bar tab, and promptly sent for the militia. By the time they had arrived, the
rioters were in no fit state to put up a fight and were easily dispersed.
Significance in the context of London history
The period leading up to 1871 has been described as the ‘Guerrilla War’ on the
Heath. The owner of Hampstead Manor, Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson, was
specifically prevented from selling any of the land or granting building leases by
the terms of his inheritance. The common lands of Hampstead manor,
extending over part of today’s Heath, were protected from development. In
attempts to change his father's will, he presented 15 private bills to Parliament
between 1829 and 1866.
His attempts at development only served to bind the defenders of the Heath
into a coherent and effective body. Sir Thomas Maryon Wilson died in 1869,
and his heir, Sir John Maryon Wilson, sold East Heath, Sandy Heath and West
Heath to the Metropolitan Board of Works. This was confirmed by the
Hampstead Heath Act of 1871. Over the next 100 years the Heath expanded,
with many areas saved by local campaigns led by dedicated people.
This battle to save the Heath from development was part of a longer-term
concern to preserve open spaces within the cities that had grown rapidly in the
aftermath of the industrial revolution.
Overriding Objective
Protect and conserve the historic aspects of the Heath and take due
account of the distinctive histories of its component parts.
Essential Actions
Interpret and make accessible to as wide a public as possible the
history of the Heath, and do this in a way that will complement its
other distinctive characteristics.
Compile an inventory (including assessment of the condition) of the
historic features of the Heath and an archive of historic materials (for
example maps, photographs and manuscripts). These will assist in
historical interpretation. The inventory will feed into a planned and
prioritised maintenance programme.
Make the link between landscape history and landscape
management, so that members of the public can have a greater
understanding of current management strategies.
Some historic land management practices known to have been used on the
Heath are being re-introduced in carefully chosen areas. These include
pollarding, laying hedgerows, heathland restoration, coppicing and annual grass
The historical resource of the Heath, its changing land ownerships and land
uses are recorded and understood better now than during previous
management regimes. Nevertheless, this story is not being fully told to Heath
Historic mapping should be used to help guide management to
restore sensitively some elements of the historic landscape where
appropriate, for example, some individual trees which indicate
former lines of hedgerows and lost ponds.
This does not imply large-scale changes in the balance of the modern habitat
mosaic, but a way to reveal lost or blurred landscape features. Equally
important is the need to protect habitats for wildlife.
Maintain existing views and consider the restoration of lost views
where appropriate.
Hampstead Heath is famous for its spectacular or particularly attractive views,
for example across central London from Parliament Hill. Some strategic and
distinctive views are listed in the Mayor of London’s interim strategic guidance
and some in local borough Unitary Development Plans. Views may be internal
to the Heath itself, or external, to features outside the Heath. However, views
may be lost gradually as the Heath changes, especially as trees grow larger. The
maintenance of existing views and the restoration of lost ones should be
considered where this does not cause significant damage to other features,
such as visually, ecologically or historically important trees.
Contribute historical information to a professionally designed and
attractive website (see Essential Action E4).
Consider establishing a panel of historical advisors to advise the
Superintendent on matters relating to history.
Encourage a greater involvement of volunteers and local historians in
research, production of information (such as themed leaflets) and
publications and in guided walks.
Consider the provision of better historical information at points of
entry to the Heath.
Make more of this historical information available outside the Heath,
for example at libraries, schools and Tourist Information Centres.
Aspirational Goals
Consider the establishment of a visitor centre with historical and
ecological displays and information about facilities and events (see
Aspirational Goal E6).
Consider the use of unobtrusive technology for information provision
at specific points (see the Kew Gardens example) (see Aspirational
Goal E5).
Consider the establishment of the post of Heritage Officer to run
courses, lead walks, prepare teaching packs, etc.
Consider the re-introduction of grazing to restore a part of the lost
landscape of the Heath (see Aspirational Goal NL23).
Consider undertaking an archaeological survey of the Heath as it is
little explored or understood, apart from the major features covered
in this chapter.
What makes Hampstead Heath so important for nature conservation? It is one
of London’s most popular open spaces. Remarkable for its size, given that it is
less than four miles from Trafalgar Square, it embraces a variety of landscapes
with a rich and fascinating history. It is a unique remnant of London’s former
countryside, now surrounded by urban development. But unlike much of the
countryside around London it is accessible for people to enjoy it. Its woods,
grasslands and ponds provide opportunities for quiet enjoyment and
appreciation of the natural world in the heart of one of the world’s largest
urban areas. Enjoyment of the natural world and landscape must surely be its
greatest asset and one that it should be our guiding objective to maintain.
The whole of the Heath has been assessed by the Greater London Authority as
being a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation. A small
strip of land is part of the Hampstead Heath Woods Site of Special Scientific
Interest as defined by Natural England.
The Heath supports many animals and plants of local, London-wide or even
national significance. Examples are seven species of bats, which are nationally
protected, several species of spiders which are rare nationally or in London,
and good populations of stag beetles and dragonflies. The lesser spotted
woodpecker breeds on the Heath at one of its closest locations to central
London. Plants such as pignut and heath grass grow in the grassland, and
uncommon fungi have been recorded.
There have been dramatic changes across the Heath over the past centuries.
Most of the former woodland had been felled by the sixteenth century, and the
land was either heathland or farmland. Extensive woodland only returned again
when grazing ceased during the past century. Sand and gravel were extracted
from the higher elevations; Sandy Heath in particular was devastated by these
operations. During the two World Wars parts of the Heath were used for
allotments, gun emplacements and for disposal of rubble. Over the years there
has been a loss of the heathland once prevalent on the Bagshot Sands, where
heather was common. A few remnants still persist, relics from a time when the
Heath was truly a heathland community in ecological terms. Similarly, a few
patches of acid grassland survive, a relatively scarce habitat in the London area
which deserves special measures to ensure its survival (see Figure 18).
Examples of features of particular natural interest include:
Approximately 800 identified veteran trees
More than 180 recorded species of birds
Breeding bird species including kingfisher, reed warbler and
More than 300 recorded species of fungi
More than 30 significant ponds
The West Heath sphagnum bog is one of only a very few examples of
this habitat in London.
Two documents provide vital methodology in formulating a strategy for the
natural landscape:
Grassland Management of Parliament Hill Management Area, Hampstead Heath
(2000) and Woodland, Scrub and Hedgerow Management at Parliament Hill
Management Area, Hampstead Heath (2001), produced by the London Ecology
Unit and the Greater London Authority respectively.
Biodiversity Action Plans for the London Borough of Camden, for London as a
whole and for the United Kingdom help prioritise nature conservation
management actions. At the time of completion of this management plan there
is no Biodiversity Action Plan for the London Borough of Barnet.
Overriding Objective
Retain and enhance the Heath’s habitats and natural resources to
enable continued quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the natural
world by its visitors.
Essential Actions
Maintain a detailed vegetation survey of the Heath.
The last, and only comprehensive, vegetation survey of the Heath was
produced in 1991. The Heath is very complex, containing small but important
pockets of habitat and populations of uncommon species. The detail of the
Heath’s habitats will have changed since 1991 and a revision of this survey will
be vital for the preparation of Part II of this management plan.
Manage the Heath’s grasslands to enhance their nature conservation
and aesthetic value.
Varied management regimes can be employed, with, for example, cuts at
different frequencies and different times of the year, to encourage a range of
grassland species and a range of sward heights and compositions.
Manage the Heath’s woodlands and scrub to enhance their nature
conservation value and improve their distinctiveness.
This will include the creation of further woodland glades, which diversify the
character of the woodland both visually and for nature conservation. It may
include setting aside areas of non-intervention, where no management takes
place in the long term except that required for health and safety reasons and,
where appropriate, encouraging natural regeneration and planting of native
Manage the Heath’s ponds to enhance their nature conservation
Manage the Heath’s hedgerows to enhance their nature conservation
Manage the Heath’s heathland and dry acid grassland to enhance
their nature conservation value (see Aspirational Goal NL15).
Manage the Heath to protect and enhance populations of plants and
animals protected by law, identified as being Priority Species in
national and local Biodiversity Action Plans, or identified in
subsequent management planning as being worthy of protection.
Retain dead and dying wood wherever possible to encourage
invertebrates, fungi and birds.
Use interpretation to explain and make available the Heath’s
landscape and wildlife resources to a wide and diverse audience.
Plan for climate change.
The City of London must remain vigilant and responsive to research and advice
to ensure that future management creates a Heath flexible enough to absorb
whatever changes lie ahead. For example, the managers must be aware of
research predicting which species of tree are likely to fare best in the future,
and use these in re-stocking if it becomes evident that existing species will no
longer thrive under prevailing conditions. Trees not adapted to the new
conditions may die. The hydrology of the Heath may alter and lead to
ecological changes – perhaps allowing, for example, the expansion of dry acid
grassland. Vegetation will be encouraged wherever possible to regenerate
naturally from the existing seed-bank.
Monitor changes in the Heath’s ecology (see Aspirational Goal
NL 13
Nurture and retain the Heath’s current veteran trees and identify
and plant replacement trees to maintain the overall stock for future
generations (see Aspirational Goal NL17).
Control certain invasive and inappropriate species (see Aspirational
Goal NL22).
Aspirational Goals
Retain, restore and extend areas of heathland and dry acid grassland
as functioning, sustainable habitats.
Basic protection of existing areas of heathland and dry acid heathland is
essential (see Essential Action NL7). This Aspirational Goal is included to
ensure substantial improvements to these habitats. Heathland and dry acid
grassland are uncommon and important habitats in London, and are United
Kingdom Biodiversity Action Plan Priority Habitats. They exist on similar soils and
the two habitats may often be considered together. The existing fragments of
heather and gorse on the Heath are attractive, and it is appropriate that further
planting be considered to create more viable heathland, especially given
Hampstead Heath’s name. Today, fragments of planted heather can be found
close to the Vale of Health, around the edges of the West Heath and on Sandy
Heath. Acid grassland grows, for example, to the west of the Viaduct Pond and
the Hampstead stream.
This project would include research into the most appropriate locations and
expanding these important habitats as appropriate.
Prepare detailed plans to monitor changes in the Heath’s ecology.
Basic monitoring is essential (see Essential Action NL12) for sound open space
management and already takes place on the Heath. Monitoring is included here
as an Aspirational Goal since a more comprehensive monitoring system is
sought. The aim is to survey and monitor populations of birds, invertebrates,
fungi etc. and to assess changes resulting from, for example, management
practices, visitor use, eutrophication due to dog excreta, climate change and
other influences. This will lead to improved management of the Heath and, as it
could become a site employing monitoring excellence, could contribute to
regional and national knowledge of urban open space management.
Prepare detailed plans to nurture and retain the Heath’s current
veteran trees and identify and plant replacement trees to maintain
and increase the overall stock for future generations.
The conservation of the Heath’s stock of veteran trees is essential (see
Essential Action NL13). A more comprehensive project – beyond the bare
essentials – is included here as an Aspirational Goal to ensure that the overall
stock increases. Veteran trees can suffer and die as a result of a number of
causes, such as competition from other trees, compaction due to nearby
footpaths and disease. Detailed assessment is required for each tree to ensure
optimal management, such as reducing shading and re-routing footpaths. A
survey (possibly by volunteers) is required to identify potential veteran trees
for the future and appropriate sites for planting new trees. Volunteers, the
public and schoolchildren can be involved in gathering suitable seed, to ensure
that local stock is used.
Consider providing a substantial, undisturbed area of scrub and
bramble on the Heath.
The Heath is heavily used by people and dogs; an undisturbed area of scrub
would greatly benefit birds, including some whose numbers are declining
nationally and are of conservation concern. This would also benefit
invertebrates and small mammals. The scrub will need continuing management
to prevent it becoming woodland and to stop it spreading into adjacent areas.
Extend the West Heath sphagnum bog outwards and along the valley
to the Leg of Mutton Pond.
From a nature conservation perspective, the West Heath sphagnum bog is one
of the most significant parts of the Heath. Enhancement of this rare habitat will
contribute significantly to biodiversity in London; in particular, uncommon
aquatic vegetation and invertebrates will benefit.
Establish a significant area of reedbed.
Reedbed, dominated by common reed, is one of the most important habitats
for nature conservation, as well as being attractive. However, there are no
extensive areas of reed on the Heath at present, apart from that on the Bird
Sanctuary Pond, which supports reed warbler, an uncommon bird restricted to
this habitat. It may be possible to establish another significant area of reedbed
on one of the other ponds. A detailed investigation would be required to
establish a suitable location.
Identify wildlife habitats and species close to, but outside, the Heath
and encourage their protection and enhancement.
There are substantial areas of (mostly private) open space surrounding the
Heath, such as large back gardens, golf courses, allotments and railway land, the
virtually undisturbed Turner’s Wood behind the Spaniard’s Inn and large
numbers of ancient oaks from the former Bishop’s Wood surviving in back
gardens north of Hampstead Lane. Some possess nature conservation value and
are in some cases remnants of habitats that still exist on the Heath. It is likely
that other features of interest remain unrecorded. Protection, enhancement
and creation of wildlife habitats would reinforce and help maintain the
biodiversity of the area and help wildlife to access, and disperse from, the
Heath. This might be implemented through a public campaign ‘Do you have a
bit of the Heath in your Garden?’ As well as having a biological benefit, this
could be an excellent way to make connections with the local community and
develop links with local landowners, residents and others.
Eradicate or control certain invasive and inappropriate species.
Certain species can become invasive and troublesome. They can, for example,
dominate less vigorous species and lead to reduction of populations of those
species or even cause local extinctions. Terrapins, for example, may threaten
populations of ducks, fish and frogs. Giant hogweed, as well as threatening
wildlife, is dangerous to the public as it can cause severe burns and blistering.
Basic control of invasive and inappropriate species is essential for sound open
space management and already takes place on the Heath (see Essential Action
NL14). Control is included here as an Aspirational Goal since a concerted
effort is required now to remove the threat of some particularly problematic
species. Others species that have so far received less attention due to lack of
resources also need to be targeted for the first time.
Consider the re-introduction of grazing as a management tool.
This would be of benefit to nature conservation. However, it poses
considerable practical problems, such as management and safety of the animals
and interaction with people and dogs. Research, trials and public consultation
would be needed before grazing could be introduced.
Underlying geology determines the location of aquatic habitats on the Heath.
On the upper slopes, rain water soaks rapidly through the porous Bagshot
Sands. It travels downwards until it meets clay pockets in the Claygate Beds or
the impermeable underlying London Clay. It is then forced to flow sideways
where it emerges at ground level as springs at the sand-clay junctions. These
springs flow into one of four catchments or valleys which run down from the
high points along Spaniards Road.
Over time, these streams have been dammed, diverted and interrupted, but the
water still flows and must be managed. The creation of the Hampstead and
Highgate ponds provided a series of manmade water bodies with considerable
ecological, aesthetic and recreational value. Some of these water bodies are
classed as reservoirs (Hampstead No. 1, Highgate Men’s Bathing and Model
Boating Ponds) and as such they have to satisfy statutory regulations to ensure
that they are secure and do not contribute to flooding at times of high rainfall.
Parts of the Heath are underlain by a network of drainage pipes and channels
variously designed to take water away from sports pitches, footpaths or
especially waterlogged areas. In many cases their condition is unknown and
they are not receiving regular maintenance. These pipes and channels need to
be mapped and regularly maintained.
Baseline surveys and management recommendations for most of the ponds on
the Heath have been recently commissioned from consultants and should be
used to formulate an overall strategy for aquatic habitats.
A hydrological and water quality report by Haycock Associates (August 2006)
aimed to:
Examine the hydrological competency of the existing flow structures
between the chains of ponds on Hampstead Heath and provide
recommendations for their management
Review the water quality of the Swimming Ponds and to make
recommendations for their management
The report concluded that under the current landscape conditions both the
Hampstead and Golders Hill chains risk overflowing at rainfall levels likely to be
encountered once in a 100 years, indicating a risk to property in the
surrounding area. This risk of over-topping (their dams overflowing), during
flood conditions, would increase if there were any blockages along the outflow
structures. The City of London recognises the significance of this risk and
intends to address the matter.
Different land management scenarios were modelled and it was found that it is
possible to reduce the speed at which water and sediment enter the ponds,
thus reducing the risk of over-topping. The Haycock Associates report gives
more detailed specifications for management action, which need assessing and
The report also concluded that high quantities of nutrients, particularly
nitrogen and phosphorus, are deposited on the Heath. Dog fouling is identified
as a major contributor to poor water quality.
Overriding Objective
Manage the Heath’s ponds and watercourses to enhance their nature
conservation value, reduce flood risk and address water quality
Essential Actions
Undertake detailed surveys and further data collection and develop
an overall management strategy for the ponds on the Heath and
their associated watercourses.
Management of the ponds has become increasingly problematic in recent years
due to deteriorating water quality and changing weather patterns. The pond
catchments are small and the ponds are fed by rainfall and springs which do not
sustain a flow of water throughout the year. This means that for up to six
months of the year the flow is unreliable. Water levels drop and, during hot
weather, there has been an increase in toxic blue-green algae blooms and
population explosions of invasive species such as duckweed and water fern.
Bacterial counts in the Swimming Ponds are monitored for compliance with the
European bathing water standard. In the last few years, there appear to have
been more instances of high bacterial levels, particularly in the Ladies’ and
Mixed Ponds. Due to the multiple recreational uses of the ponds, there are
conflicts between different users which require resolution, such as angling in
the Swimming Ponds.
An overall strategy is required for the management of each pond to prioritise
the programme of works required. More detailed plans for each pond in
relation to management of bank side vegetation and the introduction of aquatic
flora will be needed in most cases.
Ensure that the stability and levels of the dams which contain the
water bodies conform to statutory requirements.
This could require dam stabilisation and structural works.
Map and manage manmade surface water drainage – especially
relating to points where pipework is used to drain water alongside
and across paths.
Currently some of the pipe work is undersized or blocked. This will need to
be replaced or unblocked.
Manage the Heath’s watercourses to slow the flow of water, creating
pools and wet flushes to slow the speed at which water and sediment
enter the ponds and manage the surface of the Heath to increase
water absorption.
Water quality and flood defence benefits run hand in hand with nature
conservation benefits to the Heath’s terrestrial and wetland habitats. Various
measures are recommended in the Haycock report, including:
Introducing small-scale interruptions in the stream lines to reduce water
flows during high rainfall, such as stacking dead wood across streams to
create small dams; these would also increase habitat diversity (while also
recognising faster-flowing water as a valuable habitat in its own right)
Introducing high infiltration surfaces on footpaths
Managing informal paths to reduce their spread during wet weather
Seeking measures to de-compact the soil to increase water absorption
Converting mown grass to long grass.
Review the fishing policy, ensuring that fishing can take place
sustainably on the Heath (See Essential Action P5).
Improve water quality through a range of small-scale management
Some other key contributors to poor water quality are excreta from water
birds, uneaten and rotting food that has been fed to birds by visitors,
disturbance of sediment by carp and terrapins, anglers’ discarded bait and dog
Ensure compliance with the European Bathing Water Directive
Recently installed water-mixing equipment may prove inadequate to maintain
water quality to a sufficiently high standard in the Swimming Ponds. A more
robust suite of measures may be required in the future, including more aeration
equipment and/or nutrient-stripping techniques.
Seek to improve water quality by reducing deposits of dog faeces
(see Essential Action P4).
The Haycock Associates report demonstrated that dog faeces is a major
contributor to poor water quality through surface water run-off. This has a
significant negative impact upon the water quality in the Swimming Ponds and
upon the Heath’s ecology. The high level of nutrients contributes to reducing
the diversity of plant species, since the coarser grasses thrive and crowd out
less robust species.
It is essential that deposits of dog faeces are reduced and that all dog walkers
recognise the importance of collecting their dogs’ faeces. Zero deposits should
be the goal.
In addition to the Kenwood Estate (outside the remit of this plan) there are
two areas that stand out as discrete and historically important designed
landscapes: Golders Hill Park and the Hill Garden and Pergola. They are unique
and require a different management approach from the rest of the Heath.
Golders Hill Park
The original Golders Hill Estate was probably developed by Charles Dingley in
the 1740s. His association with the site was short-lived, however, as soon after
the house was built this candidate Member of Parliament was attacked at a
political hustings and died several days later.
The long-lasting influence on the park came towards the end of the eighteenth
century when John Coore, the next owner of note, sought landscaping advice
from Humphry Repton. The last private owner, Sir Spencer Wells, replaced
the Georgian mansion with a Victorian equivalent. Wells died in 1897 and the
estate was put up for sale. Had the reserve price been attained the park would
have been built on. It was not and at a further auction local people secured the
land for public use. A garden party attended by 10,000 people raised the
money and the park was officially opened in 1898. The house remained until
1941 when it was demolished by a bomb.
Today, the park contains a wide variety of facilities including a zoo, butterfly
house, bandstand, tennis courts, play area, café and walled garden with flower
beds. It also contains important veteran oak trees, including those formerly part
of ancient hedgerows dividing the pre-designed-landscape fields.
The Hill Garden and Pergola
In 1904 William H Lever, later Lord Leverhulme, purchased The Hill, a
substantial house facing North End Way. He was a noted patron of the arts,
architecture and landscape gardening. Enlisting the expertise of Thomas
Mawson, the first president of the Institute of Landscape Architects, he set
about redesigning the garden and building the monumental Pergola.
Following various changes in ownership, by 1987 the main structure of the
Pergola was dilapidated, with original timbers twisted and rotten beyond repair.
Upon taking responsibility for the Heath in 1989, the City of London
commenced a major programme of restoration. In 1995 the main structure
was reopened for public access.
Today, the Hill Garden is one of the capital’s horticultural gems, but it is
currently under-used. It is included in the English Heritage Register of Parks and
Gardens of special historic interest in England and the Pergola itself is a Listed
Grade II* structure.
The Hill Garden and Pergola would provide an attractive location for marriage
ceremonies. Work should be carried out to determine the feasibility of and
demand for this facility.
Overriding Objective
Conserve and enhance the historic and planned elements of the
Heath’s designed landscapes, while improving their appearance and
public facilities.
Essential Actions
Prepare conservation management plans for Golders Hill Park and
the Hill Garden.
Explore the education and interpretation opportunities afforded by
these unique designed landscapes.
Seek to include Golders Hill Park in the English Heritage Register of
Parks and Gardens of special historic interest in England.
Aspirational Goals
Consider the establishment of an information facility in Golders Hill
Park, providing visitors with an insight into its history and
management. The facility might also reflect the importance and
educational potential of Golders Hill Park’s ornamental gardens and
horticultural displays by providing gardening advice, for example.
Investigate the feasibility of holding marriage and civil partnership
services at the Hill Garden and Pergola, recognising that they should
not interfere unduly with others’ enjoyment of the Heath.
The Heath’s buildings have generally not been considered as ‘architecture’ in
the context of the Heath; instead they have been provided piecemeal to serve a
purpose. There are some examples of very good architecture (of their style
and period), such as the Lido and Athletics Track Pavilion, that need to be
recognised as such. There are some marvellous, romantic glories such as the
Pergola and the Viaduct. Conversely, there are examples of unattractive
buildings that may serve a purpose but detract from the natural qualities of the
A review of the buildings, paths, fences, litter bins, benches, signs and other
Heath ‘furniture’ demonstrates that over time the ‘natural’ Heath has acquired
an immense diversity of structures and infrastructure (see Figure 19). Where
these elements have been planned for, this has usually occurred on an asneeded and localised basis; there has been no overall strategy to guide how
such elements might look, their context or what happens to them if they
become redundant.
This management review included the compilation of a full inventory of
buildings and features, describing what each building or feature is, its age,
condition and whether or not it is listed. In addition, a full Condition Survey of
all the buildings on the Heath has been prepared, identifying a backlog of
maintenance work. Buildings tend to be clustered near entrances and major
sports facilities, and generally do not intrude excessively onto the wilder parts
of the Heath except with respect to views.
More than 60 structures were identified. These include:
Non-public staff buildings utilised for the day-to-day running of the Heath
or for staff accommodation (for example Kenwood Nursery Yard buildings,
Parliament Hill Staffyard, Meadow Cottage).
Public buildings (for example toilets, Lido buildings, cafés, bandstands, zoo
Artefacts and boundary features (for example Stone of Free Speech,
Pergola, Flagpole, Viaduct and Bird Bridge).
Sports and play facilities (for example Athletics Track, tennis courts,
Golders Hill Park and Parliament Hill play areas).
Other built infrastructure includes:
Car parks, roads and path network.
Furniture (for example bins, benches, fences, lighting and signage).
Civil engineering works (for example dams, drains, culverts).
There has also been a preliminary study of the use of each building, but this
needs further detailed work that will establish whether or not buildings are
being used effectively. Some building structures, for example, may be better
used to serve other functions; some are under-used and some may be
redundant; some need restoring; others need refurbishment and enhancement
to meet current users’ expectations.
Overriding Objective
Provide buildings that are fit for purpose and aesthetically pleasing,
enhancing examples of good architecture and seeking to reduce the
impact of those that are functional, but detract from the natural
qualities of the Heath.
Essential Actions
Carry out a detailed review of existing buildings. This Buildings
Review should include identification of redundant buildings that
might be removed and any need for new buildings, new space
provision or alternate use of existing buildings. It should identify mismatches and make proposals to re-locate functions where necessary.
The aim is that the overall footprint of buildings and their curtilages
on the Heath should not increase.
Action B2 will look at the Heath as a whole and provide a list of priorities for
future action. It is likely, however, that certain buildings and facilities would
come out at the top of this priority list and there is a need to address these
problems urgently. Management experience suggests that it is essential to
consider the current suitability of, and identify improvements to, the Lido,
Athletics Track Pavilion, Heath Maintenance Yards and the location of the
Heath Management Team base. These are identified as Aspirational Goals (see
Aspirational Goals B10, B11, B12 and B13).
Consider, as part of the Buildings Review, whether or not the Heath
refreshment facilities are in their optimum locations.
Two cafeterias are provided on the Heath, one at Parliament Hill and the other
at Golders Hill Park. There are also facilities for the provision of drinks and
snacks during the summer at the Lido and at the Athletics Track, together with
a mobile unit by the Parliament Hill play area.
Consider, as part of the Buildings Review, the provision of toilet
facilities and drinking fountains. Current toilet facilities need
Review the procurement of new buildings or adaptation of existing
buildings. New buildings and existing buildings should be considered
in context and should strive for high quality architecture which is
sustainable, relates to the locality, has stylistic integrity and meets
current and future functional needs.
This will allow a move from an impression of a random ‘built environment’ to
the concept of a planned ‘architecture’ for the Heath, while ensuring that the
buildings fit within the natural aspect of the Heath.
Maintain all listed buildings and structures, allowing them to be
visible and, where appropriate, interpreted and physically accessible.
Conservation of the built environment should be a fundamental management
objective. There are currently 10 listed structures, including the Grade II*
Develop a planned built environment conservation and maintenance
This will be based on the existing Buildings Inventory and will use the findings of
the Buildings Review and Condition Survey. It will need to be a properly funded
and sustainable maintenance plan for the buildings, the infrastructure and the
maintenance of assets of the Heath for the next 20 years. The Condition
Survey needs to be extended to cover other built engineering infrastructure,
including those listed in Section 7.5.4.
Develop a Design Guide appropriate for the Heath’s ‘countryside’
character. This would be especially aimed at infrastructure other
than buildings, but including site furniture, fencing, signage, available
technology and path surfaces.
The sense of place and quality of the Heath has been partially eroded by the
use of a vast range of styles and materials and sometimes inappropriate street
furniture, signage and by the municipal character of its functional buildings and
Part of the vision is to develop a unified Design Guide for these functional
elements so that they are visually incidental and appropriate to the diverse
range of natural and formal landscapes within the Heath. The Design Guide
should include consideration of the appropriate number of signs at different
Heath locations. In some places it may be appropriate to retain or restore
existing signs with historical or cultural references. The presentation of Heath
entrances is particularly important.
Encourage local planning authorities to introduce a more rigorous
process to review proposed developments around the Heath,
including potential threats to its views and immediately adjacent
The sense of natural landscape and countryside can be promoted within the
Heath, but built development adjacent to, or visible from, the Heath can
threaten this sanctuary – for example the visual impact of the Royal Free
Camden Council’s Policies for the Fringes of the Heath proposed a Special Policy
Area in 1981. The document was only advisory and is no longer used. There is
a need to work more closely with all interested organisations and key partners
including the local planning authorities, Camden and Barnet, English Heritage
and local amenity societies, including the Heath and Hampstead Society and the
Highgate Society, to identify potential threats and benefits and actively to
advocate mitigation or objection to such proposals.
The method for commenting on adjacent developments through the planning
process needs to be reviewed. Working relationships with the Hampstead
Conservation Area Advisory Committee, the Highgate Conservation Area
Advisory Committee, the Dartmouth Park Conservation Area Advisory
Committee and the Mansfield Conservation Area Advisory Committee should
be considered. Strategic and distinctive views need to be recognised (see
Essential Action H6).
The consultation preceding publication of this document showed that Heath
users strongly believe that the Heath should be protected from inappropriate
developments around its boundaries.
Aspirational Goals
Athletics Track Pavilion and Sports Changing Rooms
Bring underused parts of the building into use
Restore the historic fabric and emphasise the architectural quality of the
Consider the future of the existing café
Seek Heritage Lottery Fund grant support to execute the works
Review parking arrangements and adjust as necessary (there is currently
visual intrusion to the main façade)
Consider (longer term) warming the water in winter by undertaking a
feasibility study to see if it is required or cost-effective.
Review all the buildings at the Athletics Track and the sports changing
Restore the Pavilion to emphasise its architectural quality
Redesign the other buildings to provide required facilities without
detracting from the core historic building.
Heath Maintenance Yards
Rationalise and reorganise the Heath Maintenance Yards to ensure they are fit
for purpose and environmentally sustainable.
Heath Management Team Base
Relocate the Heath Management Team base to a site on or adjacent to the
Parliament Hill Fields
Improve the natural appearance of this area and enhance it as the major
gateway to the Heath. This will include the entrances from Highgate Road,
Gordon House Road, Savernake Road and Nassington Road.
Hill Garden, Pergola and Pitt Arch
Restore and refurbish the Hill Garden and Pergola, the Hill Garden Shelter and
the Pitt Arch.
East Heath
Review and, as necessary, enhance the entrance to East Heath (Lower
Fairground and South End Green) and its facilities. There is a perception that
this busy entrance to the Heath is unattractive and does not provide the
appropriate welcome to visitors.
The Heath’s main users are those who come for informal activity. By
far the highest percentage of these come to walk (with or without
dogs). Others come to run, to enjoy nature, the views, to sunbathe,
to picnic and to meet friends.
These activities do not necessarily require direct staff input but do have a
considerable impact on the fabric of the Heath and require equal consideration
in the management plan (see Figure 20). Problems of compaction and
disturbance to wildlife, for example, are emerging and need to be addressed.
There are conflicts between users which need to be managed (see Overriding
Objective P1).
Walking: Walking is the most common activity on Hampstead Heath.
Visitors are free to roam over the Heath and all parts are used for
walking. There are more than 100 kilometres of paths on the Heath.
Even people who visit for other activities will almost always walk at
some point in their visit to the Heath. A Heath visitor survey showed
that 57% of respondents normally travel to the Heath on foot and that
the most popular activity done when on the Heath was walking (55%).
(GfK NOP, Hampstead Heath Visitor Survey, September 2006). The
benefits of walking, particularly brisk walking, for physical health, mental
wellbeing and recovery from ill-health are well known. The reasons for
walking are varied. It can be carried out principally for exercise, carried
out as part of other activities (for example transport, bird watching) or
as a social activity, helping to bind the Heath community together.
Walking is the ultimate form of ‘green transport’ and its promotion can
help with Hampstead Heath sustainability targets.
Dog walking: This is one of the most popular and widespread
activities. The company of a dog allows some people, especially women,
to feel safe on the Heath. It encourages many other people to take
regular exercise and therefore promotes fitness. Control of dogs to
protect visitors and wildlife and management of dog faeces are issues
that need to be addressed. Some dogs, whether individually or as part of
large groups, are clearly not kept under close control at all times.
Picnicking: This is a popular activity in the summer months but
generates large quantities of litter and increasingly damage to grassland
from portable barbeques.
Fishing: Six ponds on the Heath are designated for fishing (outside the
close season, which is 15th March – 15th June). These are: Hampstead
No. 2 and No. 3 Ponds, Highgate No. 2 and No. 3 Ponds, Vale of Health
Pond and the Viaduct Pond. Anglers must hold a current Environment
Agency Licence and have a permit. There are issues to be addressed in
relation to water quality and conflict with swimmers and wildlife.
Horse riding: There are two designated rides on the Heath, one on
the Heath Extension and one on South Meadow (the latter requires a
permit). Neither is a bridleway. These rides are used but the demand
for horse riding is low and there are no plans to extend the present
Model boating: Model power boats (except those with internal
combustion engines) may be used on Highgate No. 3 Pond during
specified periods. There is a requirement that anyone operating a model
power boat must be fully insured and observe certain other conditions.
This activity can cause disturbance to birds, particularly during the
breeding season. However, few people now use model boats.
Birdwatching: Hampstead Heath is renowned as one of the country’s
best places to see a wide range of relatively common birds close up.
The public can enjoy unparalleled views of impressive species such as
kestrels, green woodpeckers, kingfishers and jays. Parliament Hill is a
good place to watch migrating birds, such as swallows and house martins
in the autumn. The diversity of habitats contributes to the diversity of
bird life. A limited number of enclosures are essential to protect these
species from disturbance.
Kite flying: Kite flying is a traditional and popular pastime on
Parliament Hill. This needs to be monitored in relation to safety issues.
Cycling on Designated Routes: There are four permitted, shared
use cycle routes. Conflicts between cyclists and pedestrians arise owing
Shared use of paths
Some cyclists exceeding the speed limit
Some cyclists venturing off the permitted cycle routes.
There are different bodies of opinion that would like to see:
All cycling banned from the Heath to conserve its tranquillity
The situation to remain as it is
The introduction of additional cycle routes – in particular to
improve off-road cycle access from north to south, to improve offroad cycle access for children cycling to school and to provide safe
off-road cycle access for recreation.
In 2002 consultants were commissioned to review cycling on the Heath.
They were asked to consider if there should be additional permitted
cycle routes, especially to tie in with the existing cycle networks
surrounding the Heath. The conclusion was that an additional permitted
route, entering at Gospel Oak, could be considered further, but that any
other improvements should take place outside the Heath on existing
highways. Following detailed consideration, the Hampstead Heath
Management Committee decided not to increase the number of
permitted cycle routes.
This issue is being reviewed, consulting as widely as possible. This review
must tie-in with the Traffic Management Review (see Aspirational Goal
Swimming and bathing: swimming and bathing could be considered
as either informal public uses or as sports. They are considered within
this document in the Sports chapter as they are formal, in that they
require specific facilities and direct staff resources through life-guarding.
Children’s Play
All parts of Hampstead Heath are used by children for informal play. There are
four major dedicated play areas, all free of charge:
The Parliament Hill Playground and paddling pool
The Peggy Jay Centre One O’clock Club (for fives and under)
The Adventure Playground
The Golders Hill Park play area.
All except the Golders Hill Park play area are staffed. Programmed activities
for school groups and for children on non-school days are organised at the
Adventure Playground.
There are four other play areas which are specifically provided for the use of
parents with very young children: at Parliament Hill, near the Vale of Health,
the Heath Extension and Willow Road. These are enclosed to provide a safe
and secure environment for the children and, in particular, to ensure that the
areas are kept dog free.
During the school holidays each summer, an extremely popular free
programme of events for children is organised and held at Golders Hill Park
and at Parliament Hill.
A youth workshop, held as part of the consultation process, produced some
exciting ideas relating to leisure and play facilities, art, sport and the natural
Heath. Further discussion should take place with young people to see if any of
these ideas can be turned into projects.
Golders Hill Park Zoo and Deer Enclosure
The Zoo and Deer Enclosure at Golders Hill Park is a popular and improving
facility. It is of educational value for local schools. The standard of the facilities
provided for the animals is subject to regular inspection by the licensing
authority, the London Borough of Barnet. A new butterfly house, also in
Golders Hill Park, provides additional interest for the visitor.
Events, Filming and Entertainments
A programme of events and entertainment runs throughout the year on
Hampstead Heath including a diverse range of concerts (on the bandstands at
Parliament Hill and Golders Hill Park), fun fairs and children’s summer
Other main events include the Duathlon, cross-country running, Race for Life,
conker championship, open-air ice-skating at Parliament Hill and the annual visit
of the circus. Regular walks throughout the year and nature-spotting events are
also organised.
Staff, supported by volunteers, generally run events. An annual diary of events
is published and is available through local outlets.
The Heath is used for art exhibits, and in summer 2005 Parliament Hill Fields
provided the setting for The Writer – a nine-metre high sculpture by the artist
Giancarlo Neri, attracting many visitors.
The Heath is a very popular location for all types of filming.
There is a long established tradition of fairs on the Heath, with fairs taking place
on three occasions each year.
There are two fairground sites on the Heath, located at East Heath Road and
Spaniards Road. There are no plans to extend the areas given over to the fairs,
nor to increase the number of fairs held each year.
Sexual Activity
No activity of a sexual nature will be tolerated on the Heath where it could
cause public offence.
The West Heath has a reputation as a public sex environment. There are also
issues in the nude sunbathing compound at the Men’s Pond that cause public
concern and require management attention.
A major problem is the large quantity of waste on the West Heath which takes
two full-time members of staff to remove.
In 2002 the Sexual Activity Working Group was established bringing together
the City of London, the Metropolitan Police, the Healthy Gay Living Centre,
members of the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender community, members of the
Heath and Hampstead Society and other representatives of the local
The group meets regularly, walks parts of the Heath, and tries to find ways to
ensure that sexual activity does not discourage public access to any part of the
Heath. The Heath Constabulary has forged links with the Terence Higgins
Trust and Central London Action and Street Health. They undertake outreach
sessions and discuss issues and solutions. There have been incidents of
homophobic crime and the group encourages reporting of this crime.
The Sexual Activity Working Group believes that this collaborative approach is
the best way forward with regard to this sensitive issue.
Overriding Objective
Recognise that the Heath’s main users are those who come for
informal activity and manage informal recreational activities to
ensure that as far as is reasonably practical they do not adversely
affect others’ enjoyment of or the natural aspect of the Heath.
Essential Actions
Carry out surveys to establish who uses the Heath and obtain
accurate information about numbers of visitors.
Review the Heath’s litter collection and waste management
practices, including encouraging visitors to take their rubbish away.
The consultation preceding publication of this document showed that Heath
users strongly believe that the Heath should be kept clean and free from litter.
Review dog walking, developing a Dog Code to address the conflicts
that can arise through lack of control and negligence in collecting dog
Review the fishing policy, ensuring that fishing can take place
sustainably on the Heath, providing anglers with a quality
recreational experience while not conflicting with the Heath’s natural
aspect and others’ enjoyment of it. Issues to be considered include
stock management, water quality, multiple use of ponds by anglers,
swimmers and wildfowl.
Commission a further review of cycling on the Heath and its
immediate environs, recognising the strength of feeling both for and
against cycling and making links to the Traffic Management Review
(see Aspirational Goal A10). Provide cycle racks at suitable locations.
Balance the interests of recreation and ecological value/landscape
character, including the protection of sensitive habitats, through
careful management techniques including dead hedging and judicious
planting. This will assist the Heath’s ability to absorb the enormous
number of visitors that it attracts.
Manage events, filming and fairs to ensure that there is no long-term
damage to the landscape fabric of the Heath and minimise disruption
to local communities.
Work with members of the community, the Sexual Activity Working
Group, the Metropolitan Police Service and others to reduce conflict
between Heath users.
Aspirational Goals
Enhance the Golders Hill Park Zoo and Deer Enclosure through the
production and implementation of a management plan to meet the
requirements of the zoo licence and develop its infrastructure,
collection and interpretation.
The Heath is a popular open space for organised sport as well as for informal
recreation. There is no doubt that the special character of the Heath will
continue to attract large numbers of visitors, particularly as the need to escape
from the stresses of modern urban life increases. The Heath’s proximity to
central London puts it within reach of a large potential audience.
National and regional policy statements highlight the importance of sport in
open spaces and facilities such as are found on Hampstead Heath. Examples of
such statements are:
Department of Culture, Media and Sport/Strategy Unit, Game Plan
strategy document, 2002
Department of Health, White Paper, Choosing Activity: a physical activity
action plan, 2005
Sport England, The London Plan for Sport and Physical Activity, 2004 – 2008,
Greater London Authority, Offside – the Loss of London’s Playing Fields,
Some of the sporting activities have a high reputation and profile regionally and
nationally. For example, Hampstead Heath is traditionally regarded throughout
the country as the home of cross-country running.
With a lack of open space in neighbouring boroughs, the Heath has a crucial
role to play in providing sporting opportunities and promoting good health,
community cohesion and improvements to the quality of life. Of the four
London Boroughs closest to the Heath, three are in the top ten for poor health
in the capital: Camden, Islington and Haringey (2001 Census). Without Heath
facilities, including outdoor grass pitches and the Athletics Track, many primary
and secondary schools would not be able to provide key sports activities as
part of a physical education programme. There are particularly strong links with
the four local secondary schools – Parliament Hill, William Ellis, Acland
Burghley and La Sainte Union Catholic – indeed, Heath staff presently assist
William Ellis School in the development of the major part of their physical
education curriculum activities.
More than 40 different schools have booked Heath sports facilities in the past
two years; more than 80 different sports clubs have booked Heath sports
facilities in the past two years. There are approximately 215,000 visits made to
the Swimming Ponds each year. There were approximately 75,000 visits made
to the Lido in the summer of 2006.
This section specifically refers to the sports and activities that require active
management. At least 16 sports take place on the Heath: athletics, bowls,
cricket, cross-country running, duathlon, fitness training, football, golf practice
and putting, hockey, orienteering, petanque, rounders and softball, rugby,
swimming, tennis and water polo.
The City of London recognises the difference between swimming (active
exercise) and bathing (passive immersion). However, for simplicity this
document uses ‘swimming’ to include swimming and bathing.
Some of the sporting activities and associations on Hampstead Heath have a
very long history. Many sports have established clubs and a recognised voice.
Open-air swimming on the Heath is long established and takes place at the
Men’s Pond, the Ladies’ Pond, the Mixed Pond and the Lido. The formal
opening of the Men’s Pond took place in 1890, although open-air swimming on
the Heath long pre-dates this. The Hampstead Heath Winter Swimming Club
self-regulates winter swimming at the Mixed Pond. A detailed description of the
swimming facilities and their management can be found in Sports Baseline
Condition and Management Issues (Land Use Consultants, 2006) and Sport on
Hampstead Heath (Sports Working Group, 2006).
The Swimming Ponds are internationally famous. The Men’s Pond and the
Ladies’ Pond are unique in the United Kingdom in being the only life-guarded
open-water swimming facilities open to the public every day of the year. They
are attractive to swimmers of all ages and backgrounds for various reasons,
including their chemical-free water, lack of artificial heating and beautiful
surroundings. The Ladies’ Pond provides a unique, secluded retreat for female
swimmers. In the summer many families come to swim in the Mixed Pond. The
Men’s Pond provides a male-only swimming environment. The Ponds attract
many visitors from London and even overseas. Approximately 100 ‘regulars’
swim in the Ponds throughout the year.
The Swimmers’ Forum was established in 2005 and allows representatives of
the swimmers to discuss issues of concern. The Forum has proved very useful
in this respect. It is a valuable addition to the Heath’s consultation process and
may act as a good model for similar interest groups elsewhere on the Heath.
Overriding Objective
Work collaboratively in maintaining and developing the existing
sports facilities and activities in response to changing demands
ensuring appropriate provision for all sections of the community.
Essential Actions
Promote and provide for managed sports activities in three identified
Sports Areas:
Parliament Hill area (Sports Area A)
The Heath Extension (Sports Area B)
North end of Golders Hill Park (Sports Area C).
(See Figure 21)
Establish a Sports Advisory Forum to advise the Superintendent on
sporting matters.
Promote and provide for managed swimming facilities at the
Swimming Ponds and the Lido.
Allow alteration of existing sports facilities or the creation of new
sports facilities within the identified Sports Areas subject only to the
following considerations:
There is no threat to public safety
It is consistent with good turf management practice
There would be no significant increase in noise or light
pollution affecting neighbouring residents.
Other than pond swimming, the only sports that take place outside the Sports
Areas at the date of this management plan are cross-country, orienteering,
fitness training, a charity event (Race for Life) and the Duathlon. With new
sports emerging and/or an excess demand for the current facilities at some
future time, consideration may need to be given for sports to take place
outside the Sports Areas.
Allow sports to take place outside the identified Sports Areas only if
all the following eight criteria are fulfilled:
1. The new sport or relocation of an existing sport is recommended by
the Sports Advisory Forum following an assessment of perceived
2. The sport cannot be accommodated within one of the Sports Areas.
3. There is no significant detriment to the general public’s enjoyment of
the Heath.
4. There is no significant threat to the natural Heath.
5. The practice of the new sport or new location does not expose the
City of London to a material risk of criminal or civil liability, and is
permitted by the City’s insurers.
6. The adverse impact, if any, on established informal sport in the
relevant area must be outweighed, in the view of the Sports Advisory
Forum, by the demand for, and public benefit of, the new or
relocated sport.
7. It is consistent with good turf management practice.
8. No permanent structures are needed by the sport in question.
Develop the role of sporting facilities in providing opportunities to
promote good health, community cohesion, social inclusion, quality
of life and lifelong learning.
Sports facilities on the Heath should be available to a broader spectrum of
users, including young people, families, disabled people and others.
The Heath should encourage more use of its diverse facilities and in doing so
promote healthier life and fitness through sports. It should collaborate with the
London Boroughs of Camden, Barnet, Islington and Haringey to help them
provide a service where they are currently unable to do so using their own
facilities. Links should also be made with local primary care trusts to promote
use of the Heath and its facilities.
Encourage and support connections with surrounding schools and the
provision of proper sports instruction.
Set up systems to monitor patterns of use, so as to better identify
opportunities for increased or improved use.
Explore the establishment of a club to encompass a range of Heath
sports – an Umbrella Sports Club.
Work in partnership with other agencies to develop opportunities to
realise the sporting and wider cultural opportunities of the 2012
Olympics. For example, local sports events could be held during the
Olympics to take advantage of heightened interest.
Aspirational Goals
See Aspirational Goals B10 relating to the Lido and B11 relating to
the Athletics Track Pavilion and the Sports Changing Rooms.
The benefits of improving access go beyond meeting legal requirements. It is an
opportunity to attract new audiences, increase the likelihood of repeat visits and
improve the quality of experience for all visitors.
Access improvements should be planned to respect the special qualities of a particular
The City of London will adhere to the principles of equal opportunity and
access for all.
There is a need to attract groups of people currently under-represented on the
Heath. The City of London aims to be as inclusive as possible and to pursue
initiatives that will increase the Heath’s availability and diversity of users. At
present there are barriers that make it difficult for some people to use the
Heath. Some of the barriers are physical, such as busy road crossings and lack
of clear signage. Others are more cultural and include the perception amongst
some people that the Heath is not theirs and that they are in some way not
welcome. The development of an Access Plan will assist in identifying such
barriers and identifying priorities.
The Disability Discrimination Act guidance to make buildings as accessible as
possible has been followed to some extent. Further work is required to
improve access to the wider open space and to some facilities. It is recognised
that public authorities must be proactive in helping disabled people, who want,
and have the right, to enjoy the best landscapes.
The working groups have suggested that there is a need to attract a broader
spectrum of users and current non users.
Part II of the management plan will need to develop proposals to monitor and
manage the impact of large numbers of visitors on the fabric of the Heath.
Any measures to improve physical access, such as resurfacing of paths, need to
adhere to the principles developed in the Design Guide (See Essential Action
Easy Access to Historic Landscapes, English Heritage, 2005
The ability to access the Heath easily by public transport is an important part of
promoting sustainable use of the Heath. It is essential to improve relationships
with service providers such as Transport for London and local authorities to
promote sustainable transport links to the Heath and to provide appropriate
signage at train stations and bus stops. The potential for a significant increase in
visitors, resulting from proposals to increase train frequency on the ‘London
Overground’ North London Railway, needs to be considered.
In addition, reducing the impact of traffic and the infrastructure that attends the
public highway offers opportunities to reconnect parts of the Heath that have
become detached. One prime example is Whitestone Pond, where the
quantity and visual impact of traffic dominates; another is the physically divisive
nature of Spaniards Road. It is proposed that a Traffic Management Review be
undertaken in partnership with other interested organisations to explore
opportunities to reduce barriers to access. It will also afford the opportunity
to determine whether there is any potential to increase cycling on routes
outside the Heath, thereby reducing pressure on the Heath itself.
Community Safety
It is important that visitors feel safe and secure on the Heath and the Heath
Constabulary provide an essential service, engendering a sense of well-being.
The consultation preceding publication of this document identified the need to
feel safe on Hampstead Heath as a major requirement for many visitors. A
concern over safety was cited by non-users as a reason for never having been
to the Heath.
The Constabulary aims to provide a professional and efficient service for
Hampstead Heath, seeking to ensure that the Heath remains free from antisocial behaviour and the fear of crime.
The Constabulary patrols on foot, by bicycle and in vehicles. The presence of
the Constabulary and many other patrolling staff acts as a great reassurance for
Heath users. A 2004 Greater London Authority survey undertaken by MORI,
for example, found that 9 out of 10 London women said that regular foot
patrols by police, community wardens or park attendants make them feel safer
in parks. The Heath Constabulary provides cover from early morning to late at
night, every day of the year.
The Heath and its users are protected by a series of byelaws first introduced by
the London County Council in 1932. All constables are attested to enforce
byelaws in a Magistrates Court.
The Constabulary enforces the byelaws, protects the Heath and its users and
provides a response to any incident that may threaten the enjoyment of users
of the Heath.
A protocol is maintained with the Metropolitan Police Service which defines
roles and responsibilities for the Heath Constabulary.
The Constabulary aims to encourage compliance through informal methods
including education, prevention and community relations. Where possible, this
approach avoids formal tactics associated with traditional police strategies, such
as arrests or verbal warnings.
The Constabulary increasingly uses outreach methods, forging links with local
schools and holding crime-prevention events. Currently there are a number of
Safer Neighbourhood Teams that have been established by the Metropolitan
Police Service around the Heath. The purpose of these teams is to give local
communities a real influence in helping to determine day-to-day policing issues.
Constabulary officers attend some local Safer Neighbourhood Team meetings,
and a number of successful operations have been co-ordinated with the
Metropolitan Police Service as a result of concerns expressed by the local
community. To ensure a more integrated approach to policing the Heath,
engaging with Heath users and determining policing priorities, there is a need
to link more effectively with the new community policing structures.
Overriding Objective
Recognise the need to be as inclusive as possible, increasing the
Heath’s availability to a diversity of users.
Essential Actions
Prepare an Access Plan to ensure that as far as is practicably possible
all members of the public shall have access to all parts of the Heath
unless there is good reason to prevent such access, for example, to
prevent disturbance to ecologically sensitive areas and prevent
access to operational buildings.
Improved access and opportunities should be provided for people who do not
fully utilise the Heath and its facilities or are not consulted. This may include
ethnic minorities, older people and disabled people.
Where fences are necessary to restrict access or paths surfaced to provide
access, the materials and design used will comply with a Design Guide (see
Essential Action B8).
Address the barriers to access and comply with the Disability
Discrimination Act 1995 (as amended).
The City of London wishes to achieve the highest standard of accessibility and
inclusion and must comply with the Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (as
amended) and the relevant Statutory Codes of Practice in managing the Heath
and making it accessible to the members of the public, including disabled
people. In so doing, the City of London has a general duty to have due regard
to disability equality, and additionally not to discriminate against disabled
people, that is not to treat them less favourably without reasonable justification
and to take reasonable steps to make the Heath, and its facilities, accessible.
The City of London must be proactive in ensuring that the Heath is reasonably
accessible to everyone, including disabled people. The City of London will
consult with interested groups and consider partnership working as part of
assessing and addressing barriers to access. There are many potential
organisations and target groups; among them are The Fieldfare Trust for
learning and/or physically disabled people, Royal National Institute for the Blind
and Disability in Camden.
Undertake a disability and access audit for the wider Heath and
prepare, and update as required, an access map for the Heath.
This may result in suggested routes around the Heath and suggested routes to
the Heath from public transport links, provision of information etc.
Consider the preparation of an Audience Development Plan5.
An Audience Development Plan could include an analysis of the current
audience, identification of barriers to involvement of some people, an
assessment of the potential for audience development and identification of
priority audiences, etc. It might lead to partnership working with other
organisations, such as the Black Environmental Network.
The Heath is a remarkable resource that could be made available to a wider
public. This sentiment resonated through all the working groups. The sense
An Audience Development Plan is required by the Heritage Lottery Fund in preparation for a Heritage Grant.
‘Audience Development Plans, helping your application,’ produced by the Heritage Lottery Fund, gives a definition of
an audience, audience development and an Audience Development Plan. Essentially, the latter aims to understand
visitors’ needs and to create an environment and experience that appeals to them.
was not necessarily to increase the Heath’s profile as a tourist attraction, but to
make better use of under-developed resources, for example to increase
volunteer opportunities.
Recognise the Heath’s latent potential to provide:
A broader spectrum of users from all backgrounds
Access to managed facilities that are not fully used at present
Recognition of the Heath’s history
Access to the natural environment
Improvements to health and well-being
Education for sustainable development.
Work with service providers such as Transport for London and local
authorities to improve directional signage outside the Heath and
highlight the best routes from existing public transport links, since it
is highly desirable that visitors to the Heath come by public
Develop a strategy, in conjunction with Heath Hands, to provide
more inclusive volunteering opportunities and to ensure that the
value of volunteering, both for the Heath and for individuals, is fully
Heath Hands is the Heath volunteer organisation based at Kenwood West
Lodge. It aims to help in the conservation and improvement of the Heath
environment, provide recreational and vocational opportunities, promote
environmental education, improve the Heath for visitors and give those who
enjoy the Heath an opportunity to make a difference. Heath Hands attracts a
wide age-range of volunteers from across London and beyond.
Consider the possibility of linking the Heath Constabulary and Heath
users with the community Safer Neighbourhood model established
by the Metropolitan Police Service.
Aspirational goals
Traffic Management Review
Undertake a Traffic Management Review to consider, in partnership
with others, initiatives to reduce the impact of both moving traffic
and the infrastructure that attends the public highway, since part of
most visitors’ arrival at the Heath involves crossing or walking
alongside busy main roads. This might include consideration of many
proposals such as:
Reconnect Whitestone Pond to the Heath and seek to reduce
the quantity and visual impact of the traffic.
Spaniards Road could afford spectacular views across the City.
At present it is a traffic corridor with no respect for its setting.
A few strategically planned openings could be created by
careful tree removal.
Address the fact that local roads are often very busy, some
with fast-moving vehicles, and can be unpleasant to cross or
walk alongside.
Build a pedestrian tunnel under Spaniards Road and a
pedestrian bridge across the cutting in North End Way.
Additionally, the Review should address the following issues:
Pedestrian entry points and the conflict between pedestrians
and delivery vehicles (especially at Parliament Hill depot)
The potential for coach and other vehicle drop-off area(s) for
schools visits and sports events, accessible transport providers
and individuals dropping off, or picking up, disabled people
The provision and management of car parking
The potential for increasing visits by public transport, for
example liaison with Transport for London
The opportunity to develop a strategic green network of open
space from the south side of the Heath to Kentish Town and
beyond, utilising land adjacent to the railways
The vehicle fleet, with a view to minimising the visual and
physical presence of vehicles and minimising path erosion (for
example using low-impact vehicles ), utilising sustainable
energy (for example using biofuels and electric vehicles) and
with a goal of reducing motorised staff and delivery transport
and all vehicular transport to a minimum
The need for reasonable compliance with the
recommendations of the Disability Discrimination Act, 1995
The potential to increase cycling on routes outside the Heath,
thereby reducing pressure on the Heath.
The Traffic Management Review should consider the value of
producing a Travel Plan, which would pull together proposals to
increase sustainable transport to the Heath by walking, cycling and
use of public transport6.
It should be recognised that more than any other suggested Essential
Action or Aspirational Goal, A10 requires the involvement and cooperation of a wide range of partners.
The working groups have suggested that there was a need to explain more
through interpretation and directional signage
The Heath has the potential to provide increased opportunities for education.
It also has the potential to be used to satisfy statutory provisions and current
Government objectives across a range of areas.
Hampstead Heath is already a well-used and valued resource for local schools.
Its education staff have strong links with many primary schools and are
improving existing links with secondary schools and colleges of further
education. There is a partnership agreement with the Royal Society for the
Protection of Birds to provide environmental education. An education strategy
(2007–09), details plans for developing the Heath’s educational value.
Education also has the potential to develop understanding of the Heath,
engender a sense of ownership and enhance a caring attitude and respect for
the Heath and can help reduce anti-social behaviour and vandalism.
Volunteering is a rewarding way for some people to access and learn about the
Heath, while at the same time making a positive contribution to its upkeep.
Heath Hands (see Section 7.8.24) plays a significant role in delivering
interpretation and education on Hampstead Heath.
Other local volunteers and groups give guided walks on the Heath on all
aspects of history and ecology, notably the Heath and Hampstead Society,
which runs a regular programme.
Overriding Objective
Develop the Heath’s potential for education and interpretation.
A Travel Plan is a package of measures and initiatives that aim to reduce the number of car journeys made, by
providing people with greater choice.
Essential Actions
Improve information on maps at site entrances. The website and
published leaflets should carry accessibility information. Consider
specific publications for those with mobility or other access
A variety of publications and other information including the Hampstead Heath
Diary is available at a range of outlets including libraries, community and leisure
centres. It is important to find ways of communicating information and key
messages about the Heath to local people as well as visitors. At the major
‘gateways’ to the Heath the provision of information would help to introduce
visitors to the special qualities of the Heath. Management experience suggests
that this action is required, independent of the findings of the Interpretation
Plan (see Essential Action E4).
Increase outreach work to schools and other community groups.
Topics that offer an opportunity to tie in with the National Curriculum include
the natural environment, history and sports.
Other educational opportunities include:
Web-based learning initiatives, including facilitation of self-guided school
visits, inset training and individual student research
The education/interpretation value of Golders Hill Park and the Zoo, the
Hill Garden and other Heath attractions and locations should be
There are significant opportunities to deliver secondary, further and
higher level education. Survey and research projects, for example, are
attractive to students and help with Heath management. Education
establishments at all levels already see Heath Hands as an ideal way of
introducing students of all ages to volunteering.
Informal environmental education opportunities, outside of school and
college, are currently delivered as a wildlife club and weekend/holiday
events. Out-of-school youth projects should be developed. Education
programmes should be offered to specialist groups such as adults with
special needs or learning difficulties, people with mental health problems,
young people, ethnic minority groups, refugee and asylum seekers, and
the early years. The development of partnerships working with primary
care trusts may provide opportunities to reach these groups.
The Adventure Playground and One O’Clock Club facilities need to
integrate environment education further into their activities. This should
be achieved by training existing staff and developing the outside play
areas to complement the programme.
Develop an Interpretation Plan to consider what needs to be
interpreted, to whom, where and how.
Advertise general knowledge about the Heath and its facilities
such as booking, charges and opening hours, how to get there,
provision for disabled people etc.
Research the most effective media for communicating with the
public, off and on the Heath. These may include the website
and the use of technology, schools, libraries and tourist
information, leaflets, welcome boards at entrances,
newspapers, visitor centre and cafés etc.
Increase interpretation of subjects including history, natural
environment, topography, geology, hydrology, flora and fauna,
buildings, sporting facilities, why management and intervention
are necessary etc.
Establish a more proactive press relations programme to
ensure that the public hears about the many positive stories
that emanate from the Heath.
Although much of the information that will be used for interpretation already
exists, there will still be a need for further research and the development of
appropriate texts. The History Working Group have proposed working with
locally based historians. There may be other appropriate resources, for
example through Heath Hands and London Natural History Society, which
should be explored.
Provision of information must be balanced with preservation of the natural
aspect of the Heath.
It is likely that some help will be required from appropriately qualified
Aspirational Goals
Information Technology
Undertake a feasibility study, linked with the Interpretation Plan, to
develop systems of information delivery using technology.
This system will utilise technology to provide information from a
number of sources including websites, publications, the Hampstead
Heath Diary, timetables and audio tours, together with a direct line
to the Heath Constabulary.
Visitor centre
Undertake a feasibility study to identify the need for a dedicated
visitor centre, what it should contain and where it should be located.
This should tie in with the Buildings Review. (see Essential Action B2
and Aspirational Goal H12).
Develop Hampstead Heath publications:
x Linked to education and interpretation of the Heath,
appropriate publications should be made available on site and
in local libraries, bookshops etc.
x This should include general information leaflets, education
packs, postcards and books.
The Essential Actions listed in the sections of Chapter Seven will need to be
prioritised and integrated into a series of agreed medium term action plans that
form an integral part of the business planning process. In addition, detailed
annual work programmes will be produced. Some of the Essential Actions can
only be achieved with the support of other organisations. A longer term action
plan will enable other organisations to integrate priority proposals into their
own programmes.
A number of further studies and reviews will be needed to help to shape
priorities and projects.
Some projects may need to be undertaken to halt the decline in the condition
of the Heath. Other projects may be able to progress as opportunities arise;
the need to react to these will require a flexible approach. Concern for the
significance of heritage and the possibility of attracting new audiences will be
important factors in trying to determine priorities and will be a pre-requisite of
attracting external funding, particularly from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Although a number of projects can be achieved utilising in-house resources,
additional funding will be needed to implement some of the Essential Actions.
A range of external funding programmes are available on a competitive bidding
basis. These will be particularly important for the achievement of the more
ambitious Aspirational Goals that have been identified. Successful bids have
already been achieved from Sport England and the Marathon Trust. This Plan
will provide an important tool for gaining further funding.
Monitoring and Review
Monitoring procedures will be established for assessing both the impact of
management action on the fabric of the Heath and public opinion.
This strategic management plan will be reviewed on a five yearly basis.
Information and Reporting
The establishment and maintenance of many features on the Heath requires a
great deal of work in the form of surveys and studies. Many bodies,
independent consultants, specialists and local societies contribute. This
approach will be continued, unless circumstances change.
Accessibility to information is vital if the wealth of data collected is to inform
management decisions. With this in mind, it is important to work towards
centrally held sources of data for all areas of work. Some of the working
groups have already produced very detailed papers and surveys. These will be
essential in preparing the detailed topic papers that will form Part II of the
management planning process.
A Glimpse of the Future
It is useful to look ahead and consider how the Heath might look in a few years’
time as a result of the proposals presented here. Not all of the aspirations will
be met, and a prioritising exercise must take place and funding secured.
Many aspects of the Heath will not have changed. People love the Heath as it is
today and it will always be important to concentrate on conserving those
elements of it that visitors most cherish. But management planning is not just
about conserving what exists; it is also about making improvements.
A visit to the Heath might begin with an improved journey by public transport,
with clear signage from stations and bus stops. At Heath entrance points there
may be a warmer welcome for all, with clearer maps, and a more cohesive
appearance to the environment. The Parliament Hill Fields area, as a major
gateway, might provide a suitably attractive reception.
The Heath’s countryside will remain intact; valued Heath habitats will be
protected and there may be new natural attractions, such as a sizeable reedbed.
The heathland, which gave the area its name, may be a viable ecosystem instead
of consisting of a few isolated patches of heather. Animals might be found
grazing parts of the Heath, doing the work of lawn mowers. The West Heath
sphagnum bog could be bigger and better than it is now, and confirmed as one
of the most important in London. There will be identified replacements for the
veteran trees that are reaching the end of their natural life. Neighbouring
landowners could be playing their part in encouraging enhancement of wildlife
to provide a valuable buffer for the Heath.
The Heath would sit comfortably in relation to the city that surrounds it, with
views across the city, where appropriate, but also being protected from it,
through planning control, where appropriate.
There may be more appropriate footpaths with surfaces reflecting the Heath’s
natural aspect, and information on gradients and routes that will make the
Heath more accessible to disabled and older people. It will be a more inclusive
Heath. Meanwhile, there may be less vehicle movement and more sustainable
management so that the environmental footprint is as small as possible.
There will be no increase in the footprint of the Heath’s built environment, but
renovation and replacement is likely to lead to improvement to the existing
stock. Major improvements are possible at the Lido and Athletics Track
Pavilion, making these sports facilities adequate for a site as well-used as the
Heath. It should be possible to enjoy refreshments at an improved and
extended Lido café. The Heath’s sports facilities will be used more effectively
and by a wider range of people. Improved water quality in the ponds will
benefit both swimmers and the aquatic flora and fauna.
There might be marriage and civil partnership services at the refurbished
Pergola, with its majestic colonnade and Belvedere viewing terrace, set amid
restored formal gardens and a woodland backdrop.
At the heart of any new management plan for Hampstead Heath
must be a conviction that it is the natural qualities of the Heath
which are its richest asset. Any changes to the fabric or management
regime of the Heath should be undertaken with this in mind.
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 1: Accessible Open Space
Over 50ha in Relation to
Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
London borough boundaries
Accessible open space over 50ha
4 km
Scale: 1: 295,000
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\Additional_Figures\3696-01_Major_parks_open_spaces.mxd
Figure 1
Source: City of London
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 2: Sites of Importance for
Nature Conservation (SINCs)
in Relation to Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
10km from Hampstead Heath
Metropolitan importance
Borough importance level 1
Borough importance level 2
Local importance
2 km
Scale: 1:115,000
DATE: 01/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Additional_Figures\3696-01_SINC.mxd
Figure 2
Source: City of London
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 3: Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary 1871
Heathland 1871
East Park Estate
Pond 1871
Woodland 1871
50 100
200 Metres
Scale: 1: 15,000
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig01_HH_in_1871.mxd
Figure 3
Source: St. Pancras Parish Map 1801; 1804
Newton's Map 1814
Stanfords Library Map 1862
O.S. 25" 1st Edition
Farmer, Ikin, Serive
Ordnance Survey
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 4: Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath site boundary
Heathland \ Acid grassland
Scale: 1: 15,000
50 100
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_fig02_HH_2006.mxd
Figure 4
Source: City of London
Hampstead Heath
Ordnance Survey
200 Metres
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 5: Population density
within 1.6 Kilometres (1 Mile)
of Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
People per Sq Km
300 - 1000
1001 - 5050
5051 - 10000
10001 - 15000
15001 - 30000
30001 and Over
400 Metres
Scale: 1: 35,000
DATE: 10/01/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\New_Order_10-01-07\3696-01_fig03_Population_Density.mxd
Figure 5
Source: City of London
Office of National Statistics
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 6: Indices of Multiple
Deprivation within 1.6 km
(1 Mile) of Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
Indices of Multiple Deprivation
7.30 - 11.87 (Least Deprived)
11.871 - 18.91
18.911 - 26.86
26.861 - 40.21
40.211 - 62.29 (Most Deprived)
400 Metres
Scale: 1: 35,000
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_fig04_IMD.mxd
Figure 6
Source: City of London
Office of National Statistics
Hampstead Heath Management Plan
Figure 7: Schools within 1.6 Kilometres
(1 Mile) of Hampstead Heath
Primary Schools
79 76
80 29
Scale: 1: 25,000
0 125 250
Source: City of London
London Borough of Camden
London Borough of Barnet
London Borough of Haringey
Date: 18/04/2008
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
File: S:\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_fig05_Schools_a3_revC.mxd
Secondary Schools
All Saints' CE School
65 Acland Burghley School
Beckford Primary School
66 Camden School for Girls
Brookfield Primary School
67 Hampstead School
Brookland Primary School
68 Haverstock School
Carlton Primary School
69 Henrietta Barnett School
Channing Junior School
70 Highgate School
Childs Hill School
71 Holloway School
Christ Church CE Primary School
72 King Alfred School
Devonshire House Preparatory School
73 Kisharon Day School
Ecole Primaire L'ile Aux Enfants
74 La Sainte Union Convent
Eleanor Palmer Primary School
75 Menorah Grammar School
Emmanuel CE Primary School
76 Parliament Hill Shool
Fitzjohn's Primary School
77 St. Aloysius R C College
Fleet Primary School
78 University College School (S)
Garden Suburb Infant School
79 William Ellis School
Garden Suburb Junior School
Special Schools
Golders Hill
80 Chalcot
Gospel Oak Primary School
81 Frank Barnes
Hall School
82 Harborough School
Hampstead Hill School
83 Oak Lodge School
Hampstead Hill School Pre-Preparatory School 84 The Royal Free Hospital
Hampstead Parochial CE Primary School
Children's School
Hargrave Park Primary School
Heathside Preparatory School
Hereward House School
Highgate Junior School
Highgate Primary School
Holy Trinity (Trinity Walk) CE Primary School
Holy Trinity and St. Silas CE Primary School
Institute of St. Marcellina
Kentish Town Church CE Primary
The Kerem School
Lyndhurst House Preparatory School
New End Primary School
New Learning Centre
North Bridge House School Junior House
North Bridge House School Stepping Stone Nursey
Phoenix School
Rhyl Primary School
The Rosary RC Primary School
Royal School Hampstead
St. Agnes RC School
St. Anthony's Roman Catholic School
St. Christopher's School
St. Dominic's Primary School
St. John's Upper Holloway Primary School
St. Joseph's Primary School
St. Margaret's School
St. Mary's School Hampstead
St. Michael's CE Primary school
St. Patrick's Primary School
St. Paul's CE Primary School
Sarum Hall School
South Hampstead High School (Juniors)
South Hampstead High School (Seniors)
Southbank International School Hampstead Campus
Torriano Infants School
Torriano Junior School
Trevor-Roberts School
Tufnell Park Primary School
University College School (Juniors)
Village School
Wessex Gardens School
Yerbury Primary School
750 Metres
Figure 8: Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Wildwood Road
Heath Extension
Seven Sisters Ponds
The Hill Garden
and Pergola
Sandy Heath
West Meadow
Kenwood Depot
Kenwood House
Spaniards Road
Golders Hill Park
South Meadow
Leg of Mutton Pond
Stock Pond
Ladies' Swimming Pond
Bird Sanctuary Pond
Model Boating Pond
West Heath
Men's Swimming Pond
Judges Walk
Highgate No.1 Pond
Vale of Health
Whitestone Pond
Viaduct Pond
Mixed Swimming Pond
Hampstead No.2 Pond
Hampstead No.1 Pond
Parliament Hill
Athletics Track
Parliament Hill Depot
Source: City of London
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig06_HH_Management_Plan_Nov2006_.mxd
DATE: 04/10/2007
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 9: Hampstead Heath
aerial photograph with veteran
tree survey 2006
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
English Heritage area
Veteran Tree Survey
wild service tree
Scale: 1: 10,000
50 100
Source: City of London
Ordnance Survey
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig07_Aerial.mxd
200 Metres
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 10: Hampstead Heath
Hedgerows in c.1866
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
Hedgerow with trees
Trees marking former line of hedgerow
Field boundary - no trees
Scale: 1: 15,000
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig08_Hedgerows_1866.mxd
200 Metres
Figure 10
O.S. 25" 1st Edition
Ordnance Survey
50 100
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 11: Hampstead Heath
Hedgerows in 2006
Hampstead Heath site boundary
Historic hedgeline with dense shrubs,
with or without old trees
Historic hedgeline with limited shrubs,
with or without old trees
Line of old trees along historic
hedgeline without shrubs
Recently planted hedge
Scale: 1: 15,000
50 100
Date: 04/04/2008
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
File: S:\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig09_Hedgerows_2006.mxd
Figure 11
Source: City of London
Hampstead Heath
Ordnance Survey
200 Metres
Figure 12
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 13: Hampstead Heath
Planning Policy Context
London Borough of Haringey
London Borough of Barnet
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
Scheduled Ancient Monument
Areas of Special Advertisment Control
Borough Boundary
Green Chains
Metropolitan Walks
Green Corridor (Camden)
Areas of Special Character
Heritage Land
Archaeological Area
Archaeological Priority Area
Conservation Area
Registered Parks and Gardens
Ancient Woodland
View Points
Please note: Open Space, Metropolitan Open
Land and SNCI (Metropolitan) cover the
entire Heath
London Borough of Camden
Scale: 1: 15,000
50 100
200 Metres
Source: London Borough of Barnet
London Borough of Camden
City of London
Ordnance Survey
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig11_Planning_Context.mxd
Figure 13
Hampstead Heath Management Plan
Figure 14: Hampstead Heath Historic Features
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
English Heritage area
Current OS Base (2006)
1 Kenwood (Grade II* Registered Park
& Garden)
29 The Pound/Pinfold (Grade II Listed)
2 Golders Hill Park
30 The Hill Garden
(Grade II* Registered Park and Garden)
3 Pitt House Garden:
- A: Wall (Grade II Listed)
- B: Archway (Grade II Listed)
4 Saxon boundary
31 Hill Garden Bridge (Grade II*Listed)
5 Boundary of the Medieval Manor
and later of the Borough of Hampstead
(Parts are visible may date back to 10th
century when the estate was granted to
the Abbey of Westminster)
33 Hill Garden Cruciform Pergola
(Grade II* Listed)
32 Hill Garden Central Temple Summer
House (Grade II* Listed)
34 Hill Garden Southern Pergola
and terrace (Grade II* Listed)
6 Tumulus
35 Hill Garden Southern Summer House
(Grade II* Listed)
7 Site of Maryon Wilson’s Brickworks
36 Hill Garden Western Pergola
(Grade II* Listed)
8 Walter Field Drinking Fountain
(Grade II Listed)
37 Hill Garden Western Summer House
(Grade II* Listed)
9 Kenwood Farm (Grade II Listed)
38A + 38B Sites of Mesolithic Settlement
10 Drinking trough (Grade II Listed)
39 Site of Hatchetts Bottom Garden
11 The Lido (Grade II Listed)
40 Flagstaff
12 Victorian Sewer Vent Pipe (Grade II Listed) 41 North End
37 36
54 52
55B 47
13 15
14 Ha-Ha wall (Grade II Listed)
43 The Vale of Heath
15 Public conveniences (Grade II Listed)
44 Old line of Hampstead Lane
16 Viaduct Bridge (Grade II Listed)
45 Highgate Ponds
17 Bird Bridge
46 Hampstead Ponds
21 Kerb telephone kiosk (Grade II Listed)
42 The Elms
18 Kitchen, garden walls to Kenwood Nursery 47 Whitestone Pond
(Grade II Listed)
48 Viaduct Pond
19 East Lodge to Kenwood House and
attached gateways (Grade II Listed)
49 Vale of Heath Pond
20 Kenwood West Lodge with Flanking gates
and gate piers (Grade II Listed)
50 Leg O’ Mutton Pond
13 Keepers Box (Grade II Listed)
51 Goodison Fountain
22 Monolith (Empyrean) Sculpture
(Grade II Listed)
52 The Battery
23 Park Flats (Grade II Listed)
53 The site of Tooley’s Farm
24 Kenwood House (Grade I Listed)
54 Upper Fairground Site
25 Former dairy buildings to Kenwood House 55A, B, C, D and E – sites of quarries,
(Grade II Listed)
sand and gravel pits
26 Service wing and outbuildings
(Grade II*Listed)
56 Stone of Free Speech
57 Milestone
27 Sham Bridge (Grade II* Listed)
58 Golders Hill House Foundations
28 The Lodge House and adjoining wall
(Grade II Listed)
Scale: 1: 10,000
Source: City of London
Survey of Hampstead Heath 1866
Ordnance Survey
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, LUC Licence No 100019265
S:\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\3696-01_Map14_Historic_Features.mxd
400 Metres
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 15: Hampstead Heath
by the end of the 17th Century
Hornsey Park
Hampstead Heath site boundary
Kenwood House
Wyldes Wood
The estate owned by the Priory
of Holy Trinity, Aldgate from
1226 until 1532
The common of the Manor of
Hampstead in 1680
Part of Hodford Wood, cleared
in the 16/17th Century
Hornsey Park, the Bishop of
London's deer park
Wydes Wood, cleared 1553-53
owned by Eton College from
the 15th Century
Demesne land of the
Manor of Hampsted
Hodford Wood
Canewood and Gyll Holt Wood
Boundary between medieval manors
of Hempstead and Tottenhall. Later
became the parish and borough
Division made in 1525
Formerly Whiteburche Wood
Canewood or Millefeldes
This estate was divided in two in 1525:
(i) At this time the northern part consisted
of 2 woods, Canewood and Gyll Holt. After
c.1600 these were extensively cleared. The
first Kenwood House was Built in 1616 by
John Bill
(ii) The Sothern part was a farm called
Canewood Fields or Millefeldes. An undated
map of the northern part c.1600 names the
areas of land around the boundaries
(iii) Whiteburche and Brockehole woods were
probably cleared by c.1600 and fields enclosed
(iv) It is not known when the ponds were made.
By the end of the 17thC. The Hampstead
Water Co. had made some of the Hampstead
ponds and the first three of the Highgate Ponds
Source: City of London
Survey of Hampstead Heath 1680
L.C.C Survey of London
Ordnance Survey
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig13_HH_in_17th_Century.mxd
50 100
200 Metres
Figure 15
Scale: 1: 15,000
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 16: Hampstead Heath
in the early 19th Century
Hampstead Heath site boundary
Designed Landscapes
Bagshot sand and gravel extracted
Heathland / Acid grassland
Woodland / Tree clumps and belts
Kenwood Estate (Earl of Mansfield)
Lord Southampton's Estate
Maryon Wilson Fields (East Park Estate)
Evergreen Hill, Lord Erskine's Estate
Golders Hill Park. Possibly laid out by
Capability Brown
Farmland owned by Eton College. Later
to become Heath extention (1907)
Scale: 1: 15,000
50 100
200 Metres
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig14_HH_in_19th_Century.mxd
Figure 16
Source: St. Pancras Map 1801; 1804
Newtons Map 1814
Survey of the Borough of St. Marylebone 1834
Geological Survey
Garard's Herball
Barratts Annals
Ordnance Survey
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 17: Hampstead Heath
Hampstead Heath site boundary
Heathland \ Acid grassland
Scale: 1: 15,000
50 100
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig15_HH_2006.mxd
Figure 17
Source: City of London
Hampstead Heath
Ordnance Survey
200 Metres
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 18: Hampstead Heath
Broad Habitat Types
Hampstead Heath site boundary
Scattered scrub
Scattered trees
Defunct hedge
Hedge with trees
Hedge without trees
Heather planting
Amenity or improved grassland
Bare ground
Coniferous woodland
Continuous scrub
Marsh / marshy grassland
Open water
Semi-natural broad-leaved
Species-poor semi-improved
Species-poor unimproved
grassland (acid and neutral types)
Species-rich semi improved grassland
Tall ruderal
Acidic flush
Note: These habitats have been mapped from
aerial photographs, previous surveys and
ground truthing.
Scale: 1: 15,000
50 100
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig16_Broad_habitat_types.mxd
Figure 18
Source: City of London
Hampstead Heath
Ordnance Survey
200 Metres
Hampstead Heath Management Plan
Figure 19: Hampstead Heath
Built Environment
Artefacts and boundary features
Other features
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
English Heritage area
26 33
N viii
Artefacts and Boundary Features
1 Kenwood Nursery Yard buildings
Highgate Ponds Valley
2 Chubb Shelter
3 Ladies Bathing Pond buildings
4 Millfield Lane Toilets
5 Men’s Bathing Pond buildings
6 Pond Keepers Hut
Parliament Hill Fields
7 Meadow Cottage
8 Bowling Pavilions
9 Park Lodge
10 Staff Yard
11 Café
12 Bandstand
13 Main Toilets
14 Lido
15 One O’clock Club
16 Adventure playground building
17 Running Track Pavilion
18 Playground toilets
(within paddling pool enclosure)
19 Football Changing Rooms
East Heath
20 Field No 11 Shelter
21 Mixed Bathing Pond buildings
22 East Heath Works Depot
23 Vale of Health Toilets
24 Vale of Health Works Depot
Golders Hill Park
25 Deer enclosure shelters
26 Bandstand
27 Toilets
28 Zoo buildings
29 Park shelters
30 Tennis kiosk
31 Nursery Buildings and Staff Yard
32 Café
33 Golders Hill Cottages
Heath Extension
34 Sports Changing Rooms,
Works Depot, Toilets
The Hill Garden
35 Keepers Bothy
i. Goodison Fountain
ii. Stone of Free Speech
iii. Sewer Vent
iv. Drinking trough
v. Viaduct Bridge
vi. Bird Bridge
vii. Keepers Hut and Boundary Wall
viii. Pound (Pinfold)
ix. Whitestone Garden brick pier
x. Flagpole
xi. Pergola
xii. Hill Garden Steps and Shelter
xiii. Hill Garden Boundary Walls
xiv. Pitt House Garden Archway
xv. Pitt House Garden Wall
xvi. Walter Field Memorial Fountain
xvii. Great Wall
Other Features
Car Parks, Roads and
Path Network
East Heath Car Park
Lido Car Park
Jack Straws Car Park
Play Facilities
Golders Hill Park Play Area
Vale of Health Play Area
East Heath Play Area
Parliament Hill Adventure Playground
and 1 O'Clock Club Playground
Play Area and Paddling Pool
Sports Facilities
Parliament Hill Running Track
Parliament Hill Tennis Courts
Golders Hill Park Tennis Courts
Boating Pond
Hill Garden Pond
Whitestone Pond
13 J
10 9
Scale: 1: 10,000
50 100
200 Metres
H 17
G 15
Source: London Borough of Barnet
London Borough of Camden
City of London
Ordnance Survey
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig17_Building_Environment_A3.mxd
Hampstead Heath
Management Plan
Figure 21: Sports Facilities and
Hampstead Heath Site Boundary
English Heritage area
Athletics Track
Bowling Green
Cricket Pitch
Football Pitch
Petanque Pitch
Rugby Pitch
Tennis Courts
Changing Rooms
Ladies Bathing
Mens Bathing
Mixed Bathing
Golf Practice + Putting
Rounders / Softball
Sports Area A
Sports Area B
Sports Area C
Sports Pitches
I.S 19
Informal Sports
Scale: 1: 10,000
50 100
Source: City of London
Hampstead Heath
Ordnance Survey
DATE: 04/10/2007
Reproduced from Ordnance Survey information with the permission of The Controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office, Crown Copyright, Land Use Consultants, Licence Number 100019265
FILE: \\LUC-LON-NAS1\DATA\3600\3696 Hampstead Heath\GIS\Themes\ArcGIS9\Figures\Overview_Document\Alterations_01-10-07\3696-01_Fig19_Sports_areas.mxd
200 Metres
Working group written representations
Each of the six working groups – History, Natural Landscape, Built Environment, Sport,
Access and Education and Policy – produced a written statement summarising the
thoughts and findings of their group in September 2006.
Two of the groups produced additional written work:
x Built Environmental Working Group
Hampstead Heath Buildings and Structures Inventory and Descriptions, plus two
photograph albums (April 2006)
Significance (July 2006)
Significance and all that, A3 document (July 2006)
Statement on views from the Heath (July 2006)
Photographic album of Access Points, in three volumes (undated)
x Sports Working Group
Sport on Hampstead Heath (September 2006)
Land Use Consultants documents
A series of Baseline Condition and Management Issues documents was prepared for the City
of London by Land Use Consultants (October 2006):
Access and Education
Built Environment
Natural Landscape
Public Use
Other references
Barnet Local Strategic Partnership, A Sustainable Community Strategy for Barnet (2006–
2016) (2006)
CABE Space, The Value of Public Space – how high quality parks and public spaces create
economic, social and environmental value (2004)
Camden Biodiversity Action Plan Partnership, The Wild Side of Camden – the Camden
Biodiversity Action Plan (undated)
City of London, Biodiversity Action Plan (2003)
City of London, City of London Sustainability Policy (2005)
City of London, The City Together: A Vision for a World Class City – The City of London
Community Strategy 2004–2014 (2004)
City of London, Hampstead Heath Condition Survey (Buildings) (2005)
City of London, Interim Hampstead Heath Management Plan 2006–08 (2006)
City of London, Open Spaces Department Business Plan 2006 – 2009 (2006)
Corporation of London, Corporation of London Recycling Plan 2003–08 (undated)
Department of Culture, Media and Sport/Strategy Unit, Game Plan: a strategy for delivering
Government’s sport and physical activity objectives (2002)
Department of the Environment, Regional Planning Guidance: Supplementary Guidance for
London on the Protection of Strategic Views (RPG 3, Annex A, November 1991) (1991)
Department of Health, Choosing activity: a physical activity action plan (White Paper) (2005)
English Heritage, Caring for Kenwood Part I – Today and Part II – The Future (Kenwood
management plan) (1996)
English Heritage, Easy access to historic landscapes (2005)
Fieldfare Trust, Countryside for All Good Practice Guide (2005)
GfK Consumer Services, City of London Open Spaces Department Hampstead Heath Visitor
Survey (2006)
Greater London Authority, Offside – the loss of London’s playing fields (2006)
Greater London Authority, Woodland, scrub and hedgerow management at Parliament Hill
Management Area, Hampstead Heath (2001)
Haycock Associates, Hydrological and Water Quality Investigation and Modelling of the
Hampstead Heath Lake Chains and Associated Catchments, Version 7 (August 2006)
Heath and Hampstead Society, Heath Vision – Hampstead Heath in the 21st century (2004)
Heritage Lottery Fund, Audience Development Plans – helping your application (undated)
JMP Consultants Ltd, Assessment of Cycle Routes on Hampstead Heath (2002)
London Biodiversity Partnership, London Biodiversity Action Plan (2004)
London Borough of Camden, Consultation draft of Camden Together, Community Strategy
(2007–2012) (2006)
London Borough of Camden, Policies for the fringes of the Heath (1981)
London Ecology Unit, Grassland management at Parliament Hill Management Area,
Hampstead Heath (2000)
Mayor of London, Connecting with London’s nature, the Mayor’s Biodiversity Strategy (2002)
Mayor of London, The London Plan, Spatial Development Strategy for Greater London (2004)
Mayor of London, Interim Strategic Planning Guidance on Tall Buildings, Strategic Views and the
Skyline in London (2001)
Mayor of London, The Mayor’s Transport Strategy (2001, revised 2004)
Sport England, The London Plan for sport and physical activity 2004–08 (2004)
United Kingdom Government, Biodiversity – the UK Action Plan (1994)
Acid grassland is a habitat found on nutrient-poor acid soils and is often associated with
heathland. It is intrinsically less species-rich than neutral or chalk grassland of a similar
Biodiversity (or biological diversity) is the variety of life including all living organisms and
the genetic differences between them.
Bogs are habitats formed in areas of impeded drainage. Waterlogging results and leads to
anaerobic conditions, which slows down the decomposition of plant material, which in
turn leads to an accumulation of peat. Bogs are characterised by wetland species and, in
particular, sphagnum mosses.
Community cohesion is the development of a community that is in a state of
wellbeing, harmony and stability, where people from different backgrounds have similar
Coppicing is a traditional method of woodland management whereby tree stems are cut
down to a low level and subsequently many new shoots grow up. The re-growth can be
harvested after a number of years. The process can enhance the wildlife interest of a
woodland or hedge and prolongs the life of the individual trees.
Ecology is the interaction of living things with other living things and their environment.
An Ecosystem is a group of living things plus the non-living things they need (such as
climate, water, soil). There is interaction between the different parts of the ecosystem.
Eutrophication is the over-enrichment of a waterbody with nutrients, which results in
excessive growth of certain organisms (such as algae) and a depletion of dissolved oxygen.
The result is an environment that does not readily support aquatic life.
Flora and fauna constitute all the plant and animal life of a particular area or region.
Geology is the study of the minerals, rocks and physical formations which make up the
Heathland is an open habitat on poor, sandy soils characterised by heather, as well as
other dwarf shrubs and low-growing species such as gorse and cross-leaved heath. It can
also include scattered trees, bracken, scrub and bare ground. It is often associated with
acid grassland.
Hydrology is the study of the properties, distribution and circulation of water.
Laying hedgerows involves partially cutting through the living stems of shrubs in a
hedge near the ground, bending them over and binding them together to make a living
barrier. It is an effective way of enhancing a hedge’s value for nature conservation and
prolonging its life.
Lifelong learning is the concept that learning occurs beyond the formal education
structure and occurs at all levels – formal and informal – and with flexibility, throughout
one’s lifetime.
The Mesolithic period lasted in Britain from around 10,000 BC to 4,500 BC. It marked
the end of the last Ice Age and the middle part of the Stone Age. It saw the emergence of
sophisticated groups of hunter-gatherers who used spears and harpoons.
Microbiology relates to micro-organisms and their life processes.
Outreach is community orientated activity that is designed to engage new people from
targeted populations who are not effectively reached by existing means.
Pollarding is the lopping of branches from a tree at or above head height, to encourage
re-growth above the reach of browsing animals. It may be used as an alternative to
coppicing (see above).
Scrub is low-growing vegetation where the main woody component is bushes, such as
hawthorn and blackthorn, or undershrubs such as bramble.
Social inclusion (or inclusivity) is the process by which efforts are made to ensure that
all sectors of society, regardless of background, experiences and circumstances can gain
access to services and facilities and be involved in planning and decision making.
Swimming Ponds are those on Hampstead Heath designated for swimming and bathing.
Topography is the ‘lay of the land’; it describes the shapes, patterns and physical
configuration of the surface of the land, including the relief and the positions of natural
and man-made features.
Veteran trees are those that meet all of the following criteria:
Trees of biological, aesthetic or cultural interest because of their age
Trees in the ancient stage of their life
Trees that are old relative to the others of the same species.