I was delighted to attend Give it a Go day on the Heath on July 16, where I was joined by the Mayor of Camden.

This health and wellbeing event, organised by the City of London Corporation, is a legacy from the 2012 Olympics and it is now in its tenth year. 

The event encourages visitors to try a new activity or sport and enjoy some live music on the bandstand. It’s a really great example of a community event bringing together so many partners, such as the local authority, the NHS and local sporting organisations. 

Next year at Give it a Go, our athletics track will be back in action with athletics tasters from the Highgate Harriers. You will have seen the progress that is being made at the track, which has been moving at pace. Although there have been some new challenges after discovering what lay beneath the old surface, we are still – if you’ll pardon the pun – on track for completion this autumn. 

Ham & High: William Upton has been enjoying the summer on the HeathWilliam Upton has been enjoying the summer on the Heath (Image: Corporation of London)

All Dogs Matter hosted their very popular dog show in partnership with Give it a Go, and there were plenty of four-legged visitors enjoying the event.

We know how popular the Heath is for dog walkers, and it has been chosen as the location of a very interesting project by the Royal Veterinary College to research the environmental impact of pesticides used in dog’s flea and tick treatments. 

As part of this research, a survey is currently taking place about dogs’ swimming and the effect it has on the environment. I encourage dog owners who use the Heath to complete it, and the link to the online survey can be found on the dog walking page of our website.

I’m also pleased to announce that we’ve made it easier to donate to the charitable work on Hampstead Heath, through a Just Giving page. All donations go directly back into managing the Heath and there is now the option to add Gift Aid. All donations are much appreciated. 

We are currently fundraising for a number of projects to improve the Heath for everyone, including the Heath Extension Play Area, the wildlife sanctuary on the Model Boating Pond Island, and creating new bird and mammal shelters. To donate, visit https://justgiving.com/hampsteadheathcharity

To finish off the summer, there will be an outdoor cinema at Parliament Hill and more information will be available on this soon.

We also have free music on the bandstands each Sunday in August from 3pm to 5pm. I do hope you can make it along to one of these events to enjoy summer on the Heath. 

  • William Upton is chair of the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee.