Back to Biodiversity page

This year Hampstead Heath celebrates its 150th year as a protected space. It remains a piece of British countryside in the centre of a metropolis. With over ten million visitors a year, its wildlife and habitats are under pressure from increasing use, climate change and urban pollution. Help us to protect the Heath and keep it a sanctuary for nature and people.
Caring for the Heath: what we can all do!

Why not join a society or volunteer? The Heath & Hampstead Society and the Friends of Kenwood champion the Heath and Kenwood as a place for visitors and for nature. The Marylebone Birdwatching Society runs regular bird walks, and the London Natural History Society runs biodiversity walks and surveys.

Heath Hands helps people of all backgrounds and abilities to get involved in protecting and maintaining Hampstead Heath. Its volunteers help to manage natural habitats and gardens, monitor wildlife and deliver community and learning activities that make the Heath more inclusive for all. Visit the link below for more information.

Redwing from the North
In winter, large gatherings of chattering Redwing thrushes arrive from Scandinavia. You can find them in trees with Fieldfare, another visiting thrush, or in flocks on fields. They feed through the winter on the red berries of Hawthorn, Rowan and Holly

Redwing Redwing

Foraging flocks
As winter progresses, small birds team up in flocks that move through the bare trees together feeding on buds and insects, or gather at feeding stations. A flock may contain several species foraging together, such as Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tit, Firecrest, Treecreeper and Nuthatch.

Long-tailed Tit Long-tailed Tit
Nuthatch Nuthatch
Treecreeper Treecreeper

See a Kingfisher in Winter!
Kingfishers breed in Spring and Summer in specially created sand banks on some of the ponds. But you can see them in Winter too, making a flash of bright colour as they fly, or sitting on bare, pondside limbs.

Kingfisher Kingfisher

Hibernating on the Heath
Important London populations of Hedgehog and Grass Snake will now be hibernating in protected areas where they live most of the year, away from humans and dogs. Both hibernate in piles of brush and leaves.

Hedgehog Hedgehog
Grass Snake Grass Snake
Long-tailed Tit Long-tailed Tit
Nuthatch Nuthatch
Treecreeper Treecreeper
Redwing Redwing
Kingfisher Kingfisher
Hedgehog Hedgehog
Grass Snake Grass Snake