I’m writing this column as I prepare to depart Hampstead Heath for pastures new.

It has been an honour to be the superintendent of the Heath for the past 18 months and I will be leaving a piece of my heart here.

There are so many highlights from my time on the Heath and I have loved working with its exceptional team and my wonderful colleagues at Highgate Wood, Queen’s Park, and West Ham Park.

It’s also been an absolute pleasure to meet and work with so many dedicated volunteers and local groups who give their time to help us care for the Heath. 

During my tenure we have seen major improvements to the bathing ponds to make them safer and more accessible and the full refurbishment of the Parliament Hill athletics track so that it can be accredited at a world class standard and continue to host events such as the fantastic Night of the 10,000km PBs.

Ham & High: Stefania Horne has been the superintendent at Hampstead Heath for 18 monthsStefania Horne has been the superintendent at Hampstead Heath for 18 months (Image: City of London Corporation)

We have also invested in the cricket facilities and refurbished some of our playgrounds.

In total, we were able to invest more than £3 million on the Heath and achieved Gold standard for London in Bloom and Green Flag awards. 

It is good to know that our visitors will benefit from improved facilities and that the Heath will continue to be an iconic London open space.

I also had the pleasure of attending two historic Royal celebrations for the Platinum Jubilee and the Coronation.

Thanks to a strong partnership with Heath Hands and the Heath and Hampstead Society, it has also been a real treat to see sheep return to the Heath for another grazing project last week – the first of which took place in 2019.

Working for the City of London Corporation has been a wonderful experience and I am proud to have been part of an organisation that invests millions of pounds into the Heath for the benefit of all.

As well as thanking staff for their hard work, I would like to thank the Elected Members for all their support, particularly the chair of the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee, who has been so instrumental in supporting the improvements.

I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Bill LoSasso, who will be taking over as the new Superintendent. Bill has many years of experience in managing green spaces, including the Crystal Palace Park Trust and before that in New York City.

I am humbled that I could be part of the history of the Heath. I will cherish these memories for ever and will certainly come back as a visitor.

  • Stefania Horne is the City of London Corporation’s superintendent at Hampstead Heath.