Is it worth bothering?
- Our founder members saved the Heath from being built on.
- We rescued Kenwood House and its Estate from the same fate.
- Our members blocked plans to build a dual carriageway through Hampstead and fought plans to build mansion blocks around the entire perimeter of the Heath.
- And in countless ways we continue to work to preserve all that makes the Heath and
Hampstead so special.
But isn’t the Heath safe now?
No. Serious threats remain to both the Heath and Hampstead.
- Overbuilding safety embankments on the Heath Ponds.
- Massive new houses overlooking the Heath.
- Thoughtless development in Hampstead.
- Commuter cycling routes across the Heath.
- Late licences in quiet residential streets.
- The disappearance of local shops.
- And the
felling of fine old trees.
What can you do?Join us!
Adding weight to our numbers adds weight to our arguments. The more people we represent, the more clout we carry:
- To challenge every planning application likely to harm Hampstead.
- To support local businesses through the Hampstead Card.
- To continue successful campaigns like our opposition to late night opening in quiet residential streets.
- To improve neglected areas like the Whitestone Pond.
- And above all to ensure we fulfil our historic aims.
Ask yourself again. What are the Heath and Hampstead worth to you? Worth the time it will take to click the button above and register as a member
. Worth the price we’re asking – we’re not asking the earth.
What’s in it for you?
As well as the satisfaction of safeguarding the Heath and Hampstead for future generations, there are other benefits:
You’ll also be supporting our other work…
- Our monthly guided walks on the Heath.
- The Society’s memorial plaques.
- Restoring historic street signs, street furniture and local landmarks
- Preserving trees.
- And getting involved in issues that affect our members, including traffic, policing and the environment.
©2009 Mike Slocombe urban75.com
Dam safety on the Heath ponds
Recent changes in legislation mean that improvements have to be made to the safety of the dams
This is the most important issue facing the Society, and all who love the Heath, since we were formed in 1897. The members of the present General Committee are acutely aware of their responsibilities ‘to preserve the Heath in its wild and natural state’. Disfigurement of the Heath will not be tolerated, and we will do all in our power to prevent it.
To that end the Society has chosen to engage with the City and use our many long-standing contacts at senior level, both formal and informal, to influence and guide the process from the inside, rather than standing on the sidelines, maintaining ideological purity but failing to make a difference.
Our approach is working
Nevertheless, we will not hesitate to challenge any aspect of the designs, risk analysis or legality of the proposals as they emerge over the coming months, should we believe them to detrimentally effect the natural beauty of the Heath.
- The original draft designs, which we believed to be completely over-engineered, have been abandoned.
- All the data on which they were based is being fundamentally re-assessed.
- An independent Strategic Landscape Architect has now been appointed to champion the Heath’s natural landscape.
What we are doing now
- A detailed analysis of the legal framework within which the levels of safety fundamental to the redesign of the dams can be determined, including: what risks must be accounted for; geographically where the risk lies; the trade-off between preventative and response measures; and who has responsibility for making the final assessment between the levels of acceptable risk, the monetary costs of the works and of course the cost to the environment.
- Ensuring we have the expertise and answers to the technical questions of risk analysis, dam and spillway structure, meteorological prediction, ground compaction measurement, water flow and water storage management.
- And of course keeping ourselves fully apprised of potential design ideas as they slowly begin to emerge.
We are fortunate in having expert structural and dam engineering opinion on the General Committee, and what we believe to be the best specialist Counsel’s opinion in the country to advise us on the complex legal issues involved.
Preserving the Heath for posterity
All lovers of the Heath are rightly concerned about the potentially disastrous effects of an over-engineered solution insensitive to the beauty of the Heath. Rest assured we are working very hard behind the scenes to ensure that doesn’t happen, we will keep you posted via the newsletters and here, and we remain resolutely committed to preserving the Heath for posterity.
Annual General Meeting
7pm Thu 20 June
St Stephen’s, Rosslyn Hill
Guest speaker Philippe Sands
- Heath Ponds: all the latest on the huge effort the Society is putting in to ensure the right outcome.
- The City's new Chairman of the Heath sets out his vision from an inflatable Stonehenge!
- Killer trees: the dangers posed to Heath lovers by Massaria infecting the Heath's Planes.
- 'A mix of Stalinist palace and Victorian asylum' - see the proposed replacement for Athlone House.
- Trees versus views: proposals to open up old views around Kenwood.
- Hampstead Heath in Versailles!
- Christmas shopping crawl success.
- Updates on Hampstead police station; Keats Library; basements; independent shops; and wildflower meadows.
Join our all-volunteer Publications Team as a Picture Editor and help us acquire and organise images we can use in print and on the Web. Contact Stephen Taylor