'My first four months as Hampstead Heath's superintendent'
Stefania Horne, superintendent, Hampstead Heath
- Credit: André Langlois
It has been four months since I stepped into the role of superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
And what a pleasure it has been getting to know this wonderful green space, with its beautiful vistas, great sport and recreational facilities and so much wildlife - so close to central London.
I have met so many people who are so enthusiastic about the Heath.
From staff, to volunteers, to local stakeholders, and even those falling in love with the Heath on their first visit. And I feel privileged to have been offered such a great job.
The weather is getting milder, and we have some fantastic events coming up soon, including the return of the Night of the 10,000m Personal Bests at the Parliament Hill Athletics track on Saturday, May 14.
This is a great event bringing athletes from across the world to the Heath for a world-class competition.
We will also be working with Barnet Council to host a celebration for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in Golders Hill Park on Thursday, June 2, from 2pm.
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This family day will include music and entertainment, food, a small funfair, arts and craft stalls and a fabulous fireworks display at 9.45pm. Both of these events are free to attend, and we hope to see many of you there.
With a background in ecology, I have been very impressed with the careful management that ensures the Heath remains such a special and unique place.
Our conservation team uses traditional methods to create new habitats and land restoration and just recently we had two shire horses visit to undertake ground restoration works.
New interpretation signage has been prepared in partnership with the Heath & Hampstead Society and installed in key locations to celebrate the biodiversity on the Heath during spring and the following seasons of the year.
We have a wealth of volunteers and community groups that are helping us to maintain the Heath as such an amazing place. I would like to thank them all for all their time, passion, and dedication in making sure the Heath can remain the fantastic open space that it is.
A special thanks to Heath Hands and the Heath & Hampstead Society for their valuable input. If you are interested in volunteering, please have a look at our website.
Another way you can help us to care for the Heath is by taking litter and waste away with you to recycle at home. Not only does this help keep the Heath clean but it also means we can spend funds on conservation and improving biodiversity rather than waste collection.
And finally, we do have a range of improvement projects, and if you would like to support any of our donation appeals, which include projects to protect wildlife, and to improve one of our play areas, again you can do so on our website.:.
We are thrilled with the support we have received and thank you to all who have already donated to help make Hampstead Heath an even more wonderful space.
Stefania Horne is superintendent of Hampstead Heath.