Column: View from the Heath by Bob Warnock, Superintendent for Hampstead Heath

Creating a community vision for Hampstead Heath

As the colour and vibrancy of Spring arrives on the Heath, it is an opportune time to reflect on what it is that makes Hampstead Heath such a cherished and valued place to so many people, Londoners and visitors alike.

As custodian of this unique open space, the City of London is committed to ensuring the unique values of Hampstead Heath are protected and sustained long into the future.

The City recognises that the Heath, along with the other 13 green spaces it manages around London, are a life-line to so many people who want to escape the busy City, or take part in recreation to boost physical and mental well-being.

It is timely to look ahead and consider how the Heath will look in 25 or 50 years’ time. What are the characteristics and experiences we most cherish and wish to sustain for future generations? How will the lives of our children and grandchildren (and great grandchildren) continue to be enriched by the Heath?

To this end, we are inviting Heath visitors, our local communities and those from across London to share their aspirations for the Heath to help us to develop a long term vision for Hampstead Heath.

During April and May, Groundwork London, one of the capital’s leading environmental and social regeneration charities, will be working with the City of London to talk to Heath visitors to capture their aspirations and to find out what brings them to the Heath and encourages them to make return trips.

Developing a long-term community vision for Hampstead Heath will ensure we fulfil our role as custodian of the Heath for future generations, honouring its rich natural, built and cultural history.

We want to protect and conserve the best of the Heath, while realising opportunities for enhancement and continuous improvement. We want the Heath to be accessible for all to enjoy.

The community vision will inform a strategic management plan for Hampstead Heath in 2018 and provide a robust framework for facing future challenges. This will build on our current 10 year management plan which took us up to 2017. If you are interested in reading this plan or finding out more about the Heath and how it is managed, visit our website: www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/hampsteadheath

Drop-in events and consultation stalls are being planned as well as a questionnaire and online survey. Look out for posters on Hampstead Heath and check the web pages and social media posts for details in coming weeks. Your views are very important in helping us shape the vision for the Heath.

Bob Warnock, the City of London Corporation's Superintendent of Hampstead Heath