New scheme for professional dog walkers to improve safety and protect wildlife on the Heath

A new licensing scheme for professional dog walkers is being introduced at Hampstead Heath by the City of London Corporation.

The initiative was given the green light by the City Corporation’s Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee last year.

It follows a consultation process with the Hampstead Professional Dog Walkers Association and Heath users, and will come into force on 1 April 2022.

It has been introduced to protect wildlife, limit disruption to visitors, and ensure that the commercial activity can be carried out safely.

Professional dog walkers can use the Heath at any time of the day under the scheme, and walk a maximum of four dogs at once.

They will be required to be insured and adhere to agreed behavioural standards.

A licence fee will cover administrative costs and make an appropriate contribution towards the running costs of the Heath, which is a registered charity.

The move brings Hampstead Heath in line with regulated professional dog walking schemes at other London open spaces. 

A maximum 70 licences will be issued initially, with the number monitored and reviewed on an annual basis.

The scheme will see the Heath split into six zones with the number of dog walking licences capped per area.

The application process will be available online for professional dog walkers to complete.

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee, Anne Fairweather, said:

The licensing scheme has been carefully developed taking into account the views of both private and professional dog walkers.

“The number of licences will be kept under review. Additional licences will be considered if they can be issued without the commercial activity impacting on wildlife, the natural aspect of the Heath or visitor enjoyment.

“The licensing scheme is consistent with the approach being taken at other open spaces across London.

“It will provide clarity and guidance for professional dog walkers, whilst also protecting the Heath as an enjoyable place for everyone to visit and use.”

The scheme has been developed to differentiate between professional dog walkers and recreational dog walkers.

Find out more information on how to apply here.

Hampstead Heath is one of London's most popular open spaces, attracting almost 10 million visits a year. 

The beauty spot is a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation and recognised for containing some of the best examples of the capital’s habitats, including rare and important species which are of particular significance within a heavily built-up area of London.

Hampstead Heath is a registered charity, funded by revenue generated through services, grants, donations and over £6m a year from the City Corporation.

The City Corporation protects over 11,000 acres of open space in London and south east England – including Epping Forest and Burnham Beeches - and over 200 smaller sites in the Square Mile, investing over £38m a year.

These green spaces, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They include important wildlife habitats, Special Areas of Conservation, Sites of Special Scientific Interest, and National Nature Reserves. They are protected from being built on by special legislation.


Kristina Drake| Media Officer, Public Services

City of London Corporation

M: 07710860884

Notes to editors

The Profession Dog Walking License charge has been benchmarked with The Royal Parks.

The annual licence will be £300 for a dog walker who walks four or more days per week. A fee of £180 will be charged for a dog walker who walks three days or less.

The scheme will start 1 April 2022.  The introduction of the Commercial Licensing Scheme application process will be provided ahead of the launch of the scheme. The application process will be an online process and it will take up to 10 working days for the application to be processed.

The City of London Corporation is the governing body of the Square Mile dedicated to a vibrant and thriving City, supporting a diverse and sustainable London within a globally-successful UK –

Kristina Drake| Media Officer, Public Services

City of London Corporation

M: 07710860884