As you may have seen, work has started on the improvements to the athletics track as part of the investment by the City of London Corporation. 

These works are due to continue until September, before the track will be able to reopen. Before the works started, we were able to host the Night of the 10,000m Personal Bests, before a crowd of around 8,000 people across the afternoon and evening. Our thanks go to our own Paul Maskell and Ben Pochee and the Highgate Harriers as well as to all the volunteers for creating another excellent event. 

The evening always ends with the women’s and men’s UK Athletics Championships & World Trials, and congratulations go to Jessica Warner-Judd and Andrew Butchart for winning the UK titles. The inclusion of international runners meant that this year also saw Mizan Alem Adane of Ethiopia break the record for the fastest 10k by a female runner on a track anywhere in the UK, with an amazing 29.59 time.

Ham & High: William Upton says that athletes will have a brand new upgraded track on the Heath next year.William Upton says that athletes will have a brand new upgraded track on the Heath next year. (Image: Corporation of London)

Next year, the runners will be racing on a brand-new upgraded track so we can no doubt look forward to some more personal bests across the many races. The clubs and schools that use the track will also be able to enjoy the benefits of this much improved surface. 

It's not only the track that is seeing investment by the City of London. The bathing ponds are also being made safer and more accessible in an ongoing project this summer, with improved accessible changing area at the Ladies’ Pond and new accessible changing spaces at the Men’s and Mixed Ponds. We’ve been able to ensure that swimming is able to continue throughout these works.

I’ve been lucky enough to also attend the Affordable Art Fair since my last column six weeks ago. It was a lovely event showcasing art from around the country and the world.

As the summer continues, our concert schedule for the Parliament Hill and Golders Hill bandstands has now started and you can find details on our website ( and on posters around the site. I do hope you will be able to come and enjoy one of these free concerts in these lovely settings.

Other dates to note are the Community Fun Day at the Parliament Hill bandstand on June 25, the Kite Display on Parliament Hill on July 2 and the Give It a Go day on July 16. Or, of course, you can just enjoy the glories of being on the Heath in this fine weather!

  • William Upton KC, is chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood, and Queen’s Park Committee.