Hampstead Heath is worth more than £50 million to the UK economy every year in benefits to society, a report claims.

The north London green space contributes an estimated £51.2 million every year in terms of benefits to society and has a 'present natural capital value' of £1.5 billion over 50 years.

Hampstead Heath, which is managed by the City of London Corporation, forms part of around 11,000 acres of open spaces protected by the corporation across London and southeast England.

Ham & High: The green space is also home to the famous bathing ponds and other recreation facilitiesThe green space is also home to the famous bathing ponds and other recreation facilities (Image: City of London Corporation)

Natural Capital Solutions, an environmental consultancy firm, produced the report, which examines the value of the City Corporation's open spaces in terms of public benefits.

The heath attracts both tourists and locals, recording around 8.1 million visits annually.

In terms of natural capital, the report found that every £1 spent on maintaining Hampstead Heath delivers £8.40 in public benefits.

The Heath is also a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation.

It is home to more than 25,000 trees, 650 species of fungi, 27 species of butterfly, eight species of dragonfly and damselfly, and grass snakes.

Chair of the City Corporation's Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood, and Queens Park Committee, William Upton KC, said: "Hampstead Heath provides great benefits which are often under-recognised.

"For the first time, this assessment puts a figure on the huge value they represent for society.

"We place great importance on our stewardship of the Heath, and this report helps us put things in a wider perspective, and benchmark our work to maintain and preserve the Heath for future generations."

Ham & High: The heath is home to more than 25,000 treesThe heath is home to more than 25,000 trees (Image: City of London Corporation)

Hampstead heath also provides access to a range of sports and recreation facilities, including an athletics track, tennis courts and three bathing ponds.

The Ladies' and Men's Bathing Ponds - the UK's only lifeguarded open-water swimming facilities - recently underwent a £900,000 investment to improve their safety and accessibility features.

The wider network of open spaces managed by the City Corporation, including Epping Forest and Wanstead Flats, are worth an estimated £282.6 million each year in benefits to society.

They collectively house 58,000 ancient trees, capturing more than 16,000 tonnes of carbon annually, and attracting more than 47 million visitors.