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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!

The City of London and English Heritage manage these habitats to promote biodiversity. You can help too. Spring is the main bird nesting season. When in the woods, please stick to paths and keep your dogs under control, so as not to disturb nesting birds or resting hedgehogs. When in meadows, please do not disturb shrubby meadow margins or anthills.

Fences are few, and are there to protect fragile habitats. Please respect them. Dead hedging, creating a natural fence with fallen branches, is used to protect ancient trees and to discourage people from making new trails, trampling wildflowers and disturbing sensitive habitats. Please don't cross or remove dead hedges.

Bluebells in a Spring wood Bluebells in a Spring wood

Frogs spawning
Over a thousand Common Frog breed every Spring in our pools and ponds. Like the Heath’s wetland invertebrates and breeding waterside birds, improved planting around ponds and limiting access to ponds by dogs has been beneficial to their success.

Common Frog Common Frog

Two Woodpeckers
Woodpeckers are drilling their nest holes. Great Spotted Woodpeckers forage on tree limbs, and make a sharp “chip” call. The Green Woodpecker has a yaffling call, and feeds on the ground on ants. Damage to anthills by people and dogs threatens its survival on the Heath.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Great Spotted Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker Green Woodpecker

Thrushes, our Spring Songsters
Three thrushes, Blackbird, Song Thrush and Mistle Thrush, nest on the Heath. Numbers of the last two are declining nationally. Song Thrush have a loud song, made of much-repeated phrases, while the Mistle Thrush sing a clear, simple song from the tallest tree-tops.

Song Thrush Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush Mistle Thrush

Warblers from the South
Warblers return from Africa in April. Blackcaps sing a melodious song from bushes. Chiffchaffs sing a song just like their name, from high in trees. The Whitethroat, breeding in only a few spots on the Heath, sings a raspy song from brambly meadow edges.

Blackcap Blackcap
Common Frog Common Frog
Great Spotted Woodpecker Great Spotted Woodpecker
Green Woodpecker Green Woodpecker
Bluebells in a Spring wood Bluebells in a Spring wood
Song Thrush Song Thrush
Mistle Thrush Mistle Thrush
Blackcap Blackcap