Hampstead Heath consultation: Plans ‘need to improve access and save Heath for the future’ generations’

The model boating pond. Picture: Ken Mears

The model boating pond. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

As the City of London Corporation (CoLC) consults the public over how to put a radical 10-year “Heath Vision” plan into action, the Heath and Hampstead Society’s John Beyer has emphasised the need to make the Heath accessible to groups who don’t take advantage of it at present.

The CoLC is currently seeking public opinion on a draft management strategy, which sets out priorities for the next decade of the Heath’s existence and governs how the “Heath Vision” will be enacted.

It includes a commitment to maintaining “a flourishing green space and historic landscape” and improving “quality of life” for Heath visitors.

John, who heads up the society’s Heath sub-committee, told the Ham&High: “The Heath Vision is a broad strategic idea – it’s poetry. What the City of London is working hard on now, and we are talking to them about, is how the poetry is turned into a meaningful plan.

“Of course we want more and more people to use and enjoy the Heath, but we want to make sure it’s looked after and that it’s possible for people to enjoy it.

“Younger people and people from different groups don’t use the Heath as much as some, and we want to change that and secure its future.”

Anne Fairweather, deputy chair of the CoLC’s Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park committee, said: “Managing the Heath is all about finding a balance between conservation and the needs of different user groups.

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“This consultation is a collaboration with our local communities, as part of our shared sense of responsibility and collective care for the Heath.

“The information will feed in to our 10-year management strategy to make sure the Heath continues to thrive.”

John added: “It’s about appealing to children from a very young age and getting them out playing on the Heath. It’s an incredible resource for them, so many children’s parks are tarmac and sanitised, the Heath’s somewhere a bit wild, I know my grandson quite enjoys getting a bit muddy.”

This consultation runs until November 12. Visit cityoflondon.gov.uk/things-to-do/green-spaces/hampstead-heath/Pages/consultation.aspx