Conservation & heritage

City of London – Hampstead Heath The Heath is owned and managed by the City of London Corporation.
City of London – Hampstead Ponds and Dams
Burgh House & Hampstead Museum Burgh House is a Grade I listed house built in the early years of the 18th century. The Hampstead Museum is incorporated in the House on the first floor and offers permanent displays on Hampstead history.
Camden History Society Concerned with the local history (institutions, houses, people and social movements) of the whole London Borough of Camden, including Hampstead, Highgate, Kentish Town, Camden Town and West Hampstead.
English Heritage exists to protect and promote England’s spectacular historic environment and ensure that its past is researched and understood. English Heritage own Kenwood House.
Fenton House London’s most enchanting country house and Hampstead’s oldest building.
The Friends of Kenwood House
Hampstead Garden Suburb adjacent to the north of the Heath, was founded in 1907 by Dame Henrietta Barnett.
Hampstead Heath a private website with extensive material about the Heath.
Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum helping residents to shape development in Hampstead and South End Green.
Heath Hands is a volunteer organisation created to help conserve the special character of Hampstead Heath and to give everyone who enjoys the Heath an opportunity to make a difference.
The Highgate Society aims to make Highgate and its neighbourhood a better place in which to live and work; to ensure that any changes made in the environment enhance the amenity of the area; to encourage sound planning and to improve public transport.
Kenwood House Set in leafy grounds beside Hampstead Heath, this outstanding house was remodelled by Robert Adam between 1764 and 1779.
Keats House is where John Keats lived from 1818 to 1820 and is the setting which inspired some of Keats’s most memorable poetry. Here, Keats wrote “Ode to a Nightingale”, and fell in love with Fanny Browne, the girl next door.
Keats Community is a volunteer-run charity at 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead, operated by the community that took over from the Camden Heath Library which was closed in March 2012.
2 Willow Road is a unique Modernist home designed by architect Ernὂ Goldfinger in 1939 for himself and his family.
Tomb with a View The picturesque and historic graveyard of Hampstead parish Church: the last resting place of some of the famous, the infamous, the ordinary and the extraordinary citizens of Hampstead.
London’s Northern Heights Heritage trails Eleven self-guided trails covering over 850 points of interest available from local retailers or on-line.

Arts & entertainment

Belsize Park Film Society
Everyman Cinema Hampstead
Everyman Cinema Belsize Park
Hampstead Theatre
Hampstead Arts Festival
Pentameters Theatre

Library

Keats Community Library

Estate Agents

Amberden Estates
Anscombe & Ringland
Benham and Reeves
Foxtons
Goldschmidt & Howland
Hamptons International
Knight Frank
Salter Rex
Savills
TK International
Welby (rentals)

Photographs and film

Matthew Maran The award-winning wildlife photographer of Hampstead Heath and other wild places. He publishes books, calendars and cards. www.matthewmaran.com *
Britain From Above Aerial photographs 1919-1953
Camden @Flickr For all your photos of the London Borough of Camden, perhaps the markets, the canal, those punks that sit on the bridge that hate being photographed, or anything else.
Hampstead Dog Walkies @Flickr Pics of dogs and people walking their dogs up on Hampstead Heath.
Hampstead Heath @Flickr From Gospel Oak to Golders Green – From Highgate to the Vale of Health.
Hampstead Heath Shooting Pictures entered in The Heath & Hampstead Society’s 2007 photo competition.
Heath Life is a film and education programme that aims to celebrate the rich heritage of Hampstead Heath and explore its role and resonance for Londoners today.

Government

City of London Corporation
Environment Agency
London Borough of Camden
Mayor of London & London Assembly
Transport for London

Media

Camden Gazette
Camden New Journal
Google Books has books on Hampstead
Hampstead and Highgate Express
Hampstead Village Voice A satirical, irreverent and controversial magazine for Hampstead.

Scientific

Hampstead Scientific Society, founded 1899, looks after the Hampstead observatory.
London Natural History Society members have two things in common – an interest in nature and a wish to learn more about London’s diverse wildlife.
London Wildlife Trust is a charity working to conserve and improve the Capital’s natural environment for Londoners.
The Marylebone Birdwatching Society is based in Hampstead, North London, but attracts members and visitors from all parts of London and beyond.
NW3 Weather has live and historical weather conditions, as well as a webcam, local forecasts, and weather photography – including the Heath.
Rupert Sheldrake, one of the world’s most innovative biologists, has revolutionised scientific thinking with his vision of a living, developing universe with its own inherent memory.

Social

The Heath & Hampstead Society on Facebook
The Heath & Hampstead Society on Instagram
The Heath & Hampstead Society on Twitter

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 and have launched a consultation.

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

Comments and responses are required  by the end of Sunday 28 June. 

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.

If you support our opposition to more cycling, please open the map https://camdensafetravel.commonplace.is/comments, click on the nearest icon relating to the points below, and oppose the suggestion in your own words. 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.

Please ask friends and neighbours to do the same, if they are like-minded.

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

read more…

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.

read more…

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

How the City of London Corporation is currently managing Hampstead Heath

From the Superintendent of Hamsptead Heath 27 March 2020
We are working hard to keep the Heath open during this National Emergency and we are asking all our visitors to help us care for the Heath by following the Government’s advice to observe social distancing, protect the NHS and save lives.
The health and welfare of our Heath staff and visitors is our overriding priority.
Therefore, there are a small number of staff on duty at any one time and they will only be performing critical services.
The following key messages, based on Government guidelines, are being promoted using social media and signage on site.
● Keep at least 2 metres away from others and only visit the Heath to get your daily exercise of walking or running.
● Take all litter and waste away with you. All waste bins have been removed as we do not have the staff resources to collect the waste.
● Keep dogs under control, if necessary, on a lead, and take dog waste away with you for disposal at home, in your black bin. All dog waste bins have also been removed.
● No picnics or social gatherings of any kind.

The following facilities are closed until further notice:
All cafes
All playgrounds
All public toilets
All staff offices
The Bathing Ponds and Parliament Hill Fields Lido
The gym at the Lido
All tennis courts
The Trim Trail and outdoor gym equipment
The Athletics Track
The Hill Garden and Pergola
All car parks.
(East Heath car park has been given over for the sole use of the NHS
for 24-hour access for their staff working at the Royal Free Hospital.)
All Heath events until June have been postponed and all filming and photoshoots have been suspended.
Football, rugby and all sports games have been cancelled.
A decision has also been taken to hold the closing time at Golders Hill Park to 7pm to relieve the pressure on staff. We are asking visitors to leave promptly.

Thank you for helping us to keep the Heath open by following these emergency measures.


Working together to care for the Heath during the pandemic

Update from The Heath Superintendent, 17 April 2020
Your continued support is very much appreciated as the Government lockdown is extended. You can help us by sharing these updates, via email, with your friends and neighbours so it reaches as many people as possible. Over the past couple of weeks as the Government restrictions continue it has become clear that particularly in London, where many people live in flats and do not have access to gardens, parks and green spaces are playing a crucial role in keeping the population well, both mentally and physically. The Government’s Guidance is clear – stay at home to protect the NHS and save lives. We are working together with our stakeholders to keep the Heath open for daily exercise because of the huge benefits this has for health and wellbeing. To help us do this and limit the spread of coronavirus, our visitors have got to do their bit too. We’re urging people to stay local,avoid gathering in groups, and keep at least two metres apart. Only use the Heath once a day to walk or run and take all litter and dog waste away with you. We are also reminding visitors to keep close control of their dogs, or to keep them on a lead if necessary. We are receiving a lot of correspondence about cycling on the Heath. There are four shared use paths on the Heath where cyclists must give way to walkers and not exceed 12MPH. The routes are marked on all the maps as you enter the Heath as well as being waymarked on the ground. The warm weather over Easter did bring many more people to the Heath but we were pleased to see that the vast majority followed the Government’s Guidance by respecting social distancing and only visiting to get exercise. Metropolitan Police Officers have been advising those who are not following Government Guidance.
Golders Hill Park continues to close at 7pm each evening. Thank you for your continuing support by leaving promptly to allow our staff can get home at the end of their shifts.
We are encouraged to find less litter and dog waste as our visitors have reacted positively and taken waste away with them. We hope this is a change in behaviour that will stick after this crisis is over.
Thank you for your on-going support.
Help us to care for the Heath, observe social distancing, protect the NHS and save lives.

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

Calling all Birdwatchers

We would like to improve our knowledge of where birds are nesting on the Heath. This spring we welcome any members who regularly walk on the Heath to report where they see birds nesting. We will provide you with information on how to spot a nesting bird, and a website where you can record your observations.

If you are interested please call Pete Mantle on 0775 369 6444 or email info@HeathandHampstead.org.uk

For more about the Survey and about diversity on the Heath see the latest newsletter.


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.

read more…

Shepherds in action

Watch The Society welcome the sheep!