English Heritage accused of ‘destruction of nature’ at Kenwood to recreate one of London’s great views

11:00 17 January 2014

The present view up to the Kenwood Dairy. Picture: English Heritage

The present view up to the Kenwood Dairy. Picture: English Heritage


English Heritage has been accused of pursuing the “destruction of nature” for no good reason with its plans to recreate a “lost vista” by chopping down dozens of trees on the Kenwood estate.

The proposed view up to the Kenwood Dairy with the copper beeches removed. Picture: English HeritageThe proposed view up to the Kenwood Dairy with the copper beeches removed. Picture: English Heritage

The conservation body hopes to restore “one of London’s great views” by clearing away 26 trees, including three much-loved copper beeches, which sit beneath the 18th century Kenwood Dairy cottage to the west of the main house.

But the proposal met with fierce criticism from some quarters this week, following the launch on Friday of a consultation which runs until January 31.

Hampstead Heath activist David Lewis, a leading campaigner against the City of London’s controversial dams project, said: “These trees look splendid and they’re a feature in themselves – a better feature than the dairy or the proposed view.

“It’s destruction of nature and I just can’t see the point. They’re not such brilliant views anyway.”

The Grade II-listed dairy was 
recently opened to the public for the first time after being restored as part of the £5.95million Caring for Kenwood project, which also saw Kenwood House undergo a major renovation before being reopened by the Prince of Wales in December.

English Heritage says the scheme would return the landscape to its 18th century splendour, recreating views that were unchanged for 150 years before a number of trees were planted in the 1950s to provide privacy to the dairy.

“I have seen no documentary 
evidence that this view was ever intended,” Mr Lewis said. “It’s just rumour and supposition as far as I’m concerned.”

The estate boasts some 5,600 trees according to English Heritage, 1,700 of which were planted over the past five years. Fifty more are due to be added this winter.

Head gardener Paul Jackson said: “The Kenwood landscape is as much a masterpiece of careful design as the house itself. For over 150 years, visitors could enjoy, from the dairy, glorious views over the estate. But over the past few decades, one of London’s great views was lost.

“Now with the dairy restored and open to the public, we want to bring back these dramatic views and help visitors to better appreciate the nature and art of Kenwood.”

Mr Jackson will be at the dairy on Sunday from 10am to 3pm to discuss the project.

It will then be presented in more detail at a public meeting at Kenwood House from 5.30pm on Tuesday.

Residents can also email to give their views.


Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Organisers behind a Highgate community centre have come out in favour of a major development on the site, in spite of vocal opposition from some residents

Yesterday, 17:39

I ride a bicycle. I also walk, take the bus, occasionally drive, ride a motorcycle, or use the Tube

Yesterday, 15:00

Up to 100 free superfast Wi-Fi terminals could be coming to Camden in a London first as BT looks to revolutionise its phone boxes.

Yesterday, 12:00

Hampstead Theatre chiefs have paid tribute to a director of “huge skill” following his death at the age of 71.

Yesterday, 11:01

The organiser of Belsize Christmas lights has issued a last-ditch appeal for funds to cover the final costs for this year’s decorations.

Yesterday, 09:00

The number of council properties sold in Camden and Haringey in the last year has been revealed.

Yesterday, 07:00

The 2000-year-old relics originally from the West Bank are being marketed for $1million dollars in London as part of a unique exhibition

Wed, 18:04

Highgate residents are protesting against plans for a large home to be built between mansions of “great distinction”.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news


Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


Cosmetics, toiletries, vitamins and more. Boots is the number one choice when it comes to purchasing daily essentials.

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now