'The team have worked tirelessly to keep Hampstead Heath clean and safe'

Anne Fairweather, chair of the City of London Corporation's Hampstead Heath Management Committee

Anne Fairweather, chair of the City of London Corporation's Hampstead Heath Management Committee - Credit: André Langlois/CoLC

As we bid farewell to 2021 it is with mixed emotions.

It has been another challenging year in regards the pandemic and how that has impacted on the local community and wider London.

On one hand, in lockdown we came to realise just how important access to green space is for physical and mental health wellbeing.

But the sheer number of visitors to the Heath did cause strain in various ways, including an increase in litter, ground compaction and erosion from so many visitors.

The Heath Team worked tirelessly alongside volunteers throughout the pandemic to ensure the Heath was clean and safe. And I am enormously grateful to everyone who played their part.

This work has continued throughout the year in projects to help the Heath recover from one of the busiest periods in its history.

In 2021 we also had the great privilege of celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Hampstead Heath Act which protected the Heath as a public open space.

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We held several celebrations, including a community festival, a kite display – organised by the Heath and Hampstead Society – and a film festival.

In 2022 we are looking forward to the return of some of our larger events including the Affordable Art Fair, the Night of the 10,000m Personal Bests and the Give it a Go Festival.

This year we said farewell to Bob Warnock who had been superintendent, Hampstead Heath for seven years and we will be welcoming Stefania Horne as his replacement in January.

I would also like to express my gratitude to Richard Gentry who has been at the helm since September 2021 as the acting superintendent.

With all the ups and down of the past 21 months, the Heath, with it’s beautiful landscape and panoramic views, has remained a constant and I know that has given so many people such comfort during the hardest of times.

The City of London Corporation is so proud to be the guardian of such a special place which enriches the lives of so many.

Anne Fairweather is chair of the City of London Corporation's Hampstead Heath Management Committee.