The Heath & Hampstead Society fights to preserve the wild and natural state of the Heath; to maintain the character and amenities of Hampstead; and to promote the study of local history, natural history and conservation.

Commuter Cycling threatens Heath

Prior to the pandemic, the position with Heath cycle routes was that the City would not review any new proposals for more cycle paths until 2022.

In light of the pandemic, Camden Council are now looking at measures to encourage cycling (etc) in the borough.

There are at least six proposals for increased cycling on the Heath.

The position of the Society is that no more cycling should be allowed on the Heath. A vision of how more cycling would adversely affect the Heath and its pedestrians has been given to us during lockdown when the City was unable to enforce the Heath bylaws and cycling was uncontrolled. We received many valid complaints about the damage to the Heath and the danger to pedestrians.

The Heath now gets 11 million pedestrian visits a year and there is simply not the space on the existing pathways for more cycling. We’d like to thank members for writing to oppose more cycling on the Heath.

https://camdensafetravel.commonplace.is/comments

The Heath is not, and should not be made, part of London’s transport infrastructure. We firmly believe that any increased cycling arrangements now introduced under the pretext of the pandemic will become permanent.

Current proposals for more Heath cycling (there may be others):

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London’s Refuge since 1349

By Will Coles, Heath Sub-Committee.

View from Parliament Hill 1913

For many Londoners, our green spaces – especially the Heath – are an important amenity where we can take refuge from city life with fresh air, wildlife, and beautiful views. Hampstead in particular has long been seen as a retreat in times of crisis.
In his History of Westminster Abbey, the 15th century monk John Flete recorded that the abbot of Westminster, Simon de Bircheston, fled to Hampstead in order to escape the Black Death in May 1349. However, de Bircheston efforts were in vain and he died later that year from plague.
In January 1524, soothsayers predicted that London would face a great flood and thousands of homes would be swept away on February 1.
Many families, both rich and poor, fled to Hampstead believing that its high elevation would protect them.

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Society’s Bird Survey finds family of buzzards.

A nesting birds survey conducted by the Society has found a family of buzzards at Kenwood.
Jeff Waage, of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, who is leading the research, said: “It is exceedingly rare to see these sorts of birds in an urban area, and now all of a sudden they’re here, hanging
around. It’s something that we never expected to see when we decided to begin the survey. Our buzzards show us how easily wildlife can return if we just make space for it.”

Article in The Times

All Heath Walks are CANCELLED until further notice due to the Coronavirus.

Society wins case against builder of illegal new house on Heath

‘The site of Bren Cottage’


Follow the history of the case through our Newsletter archive:

Hidden house discovered

Trees lost

Owner appeals

Battle lines drawn

Waiting

Victory in court



Society thanks the City for 30 years of caring for the Heath.

The City of London Corporation has been managing and preserving the Heath since 1989. During that time, the Society has been working closely with the City and it was only fitting to host a party to mark that anniversary and honour the relationship. The selection of photographs, courtesy of Diana Von R Photography, and the reprint of the addresses by Society Chair Marc Hutchinson and Karina Dostalova, Chair of the City’s Hampstead Heath Management Committee, recreate the festive ambience from that late summer evening.

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Shepherds in action

Watch The Society welcome the sheep!