The Heath & Hampstead Society has worked with City of London, English Heritage, Marylebone Birdwatching Society and Heath Hands to produce interpretation boards which promote appreciation and conservation of biodiversity on Hampstead Heath.
Placed at seven entrances to Hampstead Heath and Kenwood, they will be changed every season to reflect the diversity and seasonality of nature on the Heath.
This display is part of #Heath150, a celebration of the 150th anniversary of The Hampstead Heath Act 1871. This marked the beginning of the protection of open spaces as sanctuaries for nature, people and communities, which are still important to us all today. Find out more using #Heath150.
The stories selected for these displays introduce birds and other wildlife that you can easily see in a visit in different seasons, and show you how to recognize them by sight and sound.
We have intentionally excluded our most familiar wildlife, such as Mute Swan, Wren, Robin, Grey Squirrel or Fox. Rather, we introduce interesting species you may not know so well, and emphasize wildlife and habitats which are potentially under threat from our growing use of Hampstead Heath.
Our aim is to further enjoyment of all of the Heath’s distinctive biodiversity, and thereby to increase interest in its conservation. We propose simple and easy actions that visitors can take to protect fragile habitats and these species. If we all take these actions, we are confident that we can continue to enjoy a truly nature-rich experience when we visit Hampstead Heath.
Enjoying and protecting biodiversity – how to learn more and get involved
There are many ways to get involved in nature appreciation and conservation on Hampstead Heath.
Members of our Society fight to preserve the wild and natural state of the Heath and to maintain its character and amenities. We also run regular walks on the Heath on nature and other topics. The Friends of Kenwood work to promote and preserve the special qualities of Kenwood House, its collection and estate.
If you are interested in birds, the Marylebone Birdwatching Society provides regular bird walks and meetings, while the London Natural History Society runs biodiversity walks and surveys on Hampstead Heath for naturalists interested in all kinds of wildlife and plants.
For a more hands on experience, Heath Hands volunteers help City of London and English Heritage to manage habitats and plants, and participate in annual monitoring of wildlife like snakes, butterflies and hedgehogs. Visit Heath Hands to find out as well about volunteering for nature education and community engagement on the Heath.
The City of London has a range of activities directed at nature conservation, and English Heritage operate a volunteer programme for a range of roles at Kenwood.
We would like to thank our project partners for their contributions to this collaboration, and particularly City of London for building and installing the display stands for this project.
Special thanks to Matt Maran, Adrian Brooker, David Humphries and Duncan Chapman who contributed photos of wildlife taken on Hampstead Heath itself.