Revealed: year of celebrations to mark 150 years since Hampstead Heath was saved
A full year-long programme of community celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the Hampstead Heath Act has been unveiled today.
The landmark legislation, which passed through Parliament in June 1871, protected the open space for the public to enjoy.
And the City of London Corporation, which manages the site as a registered charity, has been working with the Heath & Hampstead Society and other partners to launch a the initiative – which has now under way.
Together they aim to raise awareness of the Heath’s important biodiversity and history by revealing its varied wildlife, plants, trees and conservation projects to visitors using colourful new interpretation signs.
A highlight of the programme includes an outdoor exhibition which will be launched on the Heath later this month (from 23 June) to showcase the site’s history and the significance of the 1871 Act.
Other highlights include a community fun day, a tennis open day, an outdoor cinema screening, a summer music event and a historic walks, along with events to support local summer festivals. The majority of the events will take place over the upcoming spring and summer months (full details below).
Additionally, a Historic Postcard Project, which also forms part of the celebrations, shows visitors past images of the Heath using an interactive online map.
The hashtag #Heath150 is being used to promote these celebrations, events and activities throughout the year.
A related social media campaign, called ‘Love The Heath’ is also currently running and is asking people to share their love for the site – their memories, old photos, stories and favourite locations, using the hashtag #LoveTheHeath. You can also share your story via email: firstname.lastname@example.org .
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.
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath Management Committee, Anne Fairweather, said:
“We are extremely excited to announce this very full programme of events that will give the community a chance to get together and really celebrate the Heath as a truly treasured, iconic green space in London.
“It’s great to see so many people enjoying the Heath as the sun has finally come out – be it for walks, picnics, swimming or other activities.
“For centuries it has been used by people enjoying a wide range of pursuits, and the Hampstead Heath Act 1871 effectively protected the open space forever.
“And today the Heath continues to play a leading role in the physical and mental health of Londoners by providing a lifeline during the coronavirus pandemic.”
Find out about how to visit and enjoy events to celebrate #Heath150 at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/hampsteadheath
The City of London Corporation has managed Hampstead Heath since 1989, when it took responsibility for the care and management of the site from the London Residual Body (LRB), following the dissolution of the Greater London Council (GLC).
Hampstead Heath is a registered charity, funded by revenue generated though services, grants, donations and over £5m a year from the City Corporation.
The City Corporation protects 11,000 acres of green space in London and south east England – including Epping Forest and Burnham Beeches - and over 200 smaller ones in the Square Mile, investing more than £40m a year.
These sites, most of which are charitable trusts, are run at little or no cost to the communities that they serve. They include important wildlife habitats, 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
D: 020 7332 1125
Notes to editors
FULL EVENTS PROGRAMME TO CELEBRATE THE 150th ANNIVERSARY OF THE HAMPSTEAD HEATH ACT 1871
14 April 2021
Launch of the Biodiversity Boards.
The Heath & Hampstead Society and the City of London Corporation, along with English Heritage, Marylebone Birdwatching Society and Heath Hands developed the displays, which are located on at seven entrances to Hampstead Heath and Kenwood.
They aim to raise awareness and appreciation of the Heath’s biodiversity by revealing its varied habitats and wildlife, and to show visitors how to protect nature on the Heath.
21 April 2021
Household Cavalry visit to the Heath and ride through Whitestone Pond.
Household Cavalry visited the Heath late morning. A small crowd gathered at Whitestone Pond.
2 June to
15 June 2021
#Heath150 Exhibition installed at Aldgate Square.
23 June – to Sunday
8 August 2021
#Heath150 Exhibition installed on the Heath along the main path leading onto the Heath from the Hampstead Heath Overground Station.
2.00 – 3.30pm
London Festival of Architecture walk and talk: Caring for the Heath.
London Festival of Architecture ‘Caring for built heritage and open spaces. Paul Vick and Rob Shakespeare, with Jonathan Meares. Walking tour from Keats House across the Heath on theme of ‘Together we care for the Heath’.
25 June 2021,
2 .00 – 5.30pm
Lord Mayor visit to the Heath Official Opening of the #Heath 150 Exhibition.
The Lord Mayor will visit Savernake Bridge to view the artwork local children have painted on the bridge and to meet the people behind the Project.
Following a walk across the Heath the Lord Mayor will then open the #Heath150 Exhibition.
Friday 25 June 2021, 5 – 6.30pm
Keats House #FeastOfThePoets special: ‘A Place for a poet’.
Online event looking at the role of place in inspiring creativity.
Free, booking essential: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/the-feast-of-the-poets-event-for-lfa-a-place-for-a-poet-tickets-152853124811
26 June 2021
Highgate Festival (Environment Day).
Heath Hands invited to represent the Heath at this event in Highgate Village.
Saturday 26 June 2021, 11.30am and 2.30pm
‘Keats meets Coleridge’, historic walk
A reimagining of the historic meeting between two of the greatest English Romantic poets, who were living in Hampstead and Highgate in the early 1800s.
£0 - £7.50, booking essential: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/keats-meets-coleridge-tickets-156471655935
26 June 2021, 12 - 5pm
Hampstead Art Fair at Keats House garden.
Organised by Hampstead Summer Festival, 2021. http://www.hampsteadsummerfestival.com/
Sunday 27 June 2021
Community Fun Day.
Children’s Music followed by Band at 15.30
Kite Flying Display, 2-5pm, (set up from 12noon).
Biodiversity Information and Guided Nature Walks/Forays and bug hunting (with Heath and Hampstead Society)
Art Activities: nature art classes, felting and creation of a 150th mural around the bandstand (with Burgh House)
History Tent: old photos and sharing of memories of the Heath
Games: egg and spoon, races (events at athletics track with Hampstead Rugby Club and Highgate Harriers)
Mindfulness and Tai Chi
Tuesday 29 June 2021, 5.30pm onwards
Community Celebration of the Hampstead Heath Act. Informal late afternoon/early evening event. Join us for a ‘bring your own’ picnic within the original boundaries of the Heath to celebrate the anniversary of the Act.
Sunday 4 July 2021
Bowls & Croquet open day.
Introduction to Bowls and Croquet.
Sunday 11 July 2021
Tennis Open Day.
Free tennis coaching courts available.
School summer holiday period, July – August 2021
Family workshops / walks.
Look out for a range of one-off events aimed at adults and families with children, including: Keats House Artist in Residence flower-pressing / collage workshops, Poet in Residence ‘Talking with Trees’; Live Interpretation events; etc.
Sunday 5 September 2021
This annual event will take onboard the #Heath150 theme and provides a wonderful opportunity for runners, walkers and swimmers to access the Lido and the Bathing Ponds. (Pre-Booking required).
Sunday 5 September 2021
End of Summer Music event.
Music event on the Parliament Bandstand and invitation Tug of War.
Wednesday 8 September 2021
Hideaway Cinema Screening.
Screening of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Tickets will be available for purchase in due course.
Saturday 11 / Sunday 12 September 2021
Cricket Match& Literary/Art walk.
Heath &Hampstead Society v Heath Staff Cricket match.
Literary walk organised by the Heath & Hampstead Society.
Saturday 25 December 2021
Christmas day swim.
The traditional Christmas Day Swim will be the culmination of the #Heath150 anniversary.
About the City of London Corporation
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. www.cityoflondon.gov.uk
About Hampstead Heath
Staff and volunteers look after over 450 ancient and veteran trees, creating and managing wildlife habitat which support more than 650 types of fungi, 400 species of beetle and 27 species of butterfly. The site, which has a wide range of sports and leisure facilities and more than 55 historical features, monuments and archaeological sites, has been awarded the prestigious Green Flag Award annually since 1998. Since 1989 the City Corporation has worked with London’s schools, with its outdoor education programmes now reaching almost 8,000 students per year. The programme was adapted during the pandemic and still managed to reach thousands of children and families. The organisation has created a wide-ranging sport offer on the Heath, hosting the British 10,000m Championships and the European Athletics 10,000m Cup in partnership with Highgate Harriers. The Heath also provides world-famous outdoor swimming facilities including the iconic Lido and three swimming ponds. The Ladies’ Pond and the Men’s Pond are the UK's only single gender lifeguarded open water swimming facilities open to the public every day of the year.