Celebrating the Heath's 150th year as a public open space

The horses of the Household Cavalry had a splashing time at Whitestone Pond

The horses of the Household Cavalry had a splashing time at Whitestone Pond - Credit: Polly Hancock

This year is a very special one for Hampstead Heath as it is the 150th anniversary of the passing of the 1871 Hampstead Heath Act, which preserved the original Heath as a public open space.

The act marked the beginning of a series of acts created to protect open spaces as sanctuaries for nature, people and communities, which are still important to us all today.  

The City of London Corporation is proud to support the Heath as one of 14 open spaces we look after for Londoners. 

This anniversary gives us the opportunity to celebrate the rich history of the Heath, whether it be the many amazing species – flora and fauna - which thrive here, or its links with sport, entertainment, art and literature.

The new chair of the CIty of London's Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood, and Queen's Park committee. Pi

Anne Fairweather is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the passing of the Hampstead Heath Act - Credit: City of London

We have an exciting program of events planned to mark the anniversary and it got off to a great start at the end of April with a visit by the Household Cavalry to walk their horses through Whitestone Pond. 

Informative and colourful signs have also been installed at seven locations to give information on biodiversity and encourage visitors to take an active part in caring for the Heath, and these signs will change with the seasons.

This project is a partnership between the City of London Corporation, the Heath & Hampstead Society, Heath Hands and English Heritage.

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Keep your eye out for an outdoor exhibition focusing on the Heath anniversary from Wednesday, June 23 to Sunday, August 8, 2021 at East Heath, near the entrance to Hampstead Heath Overground Station.

The exhibition details a mixture of history on the Heath and the 1871 Act alongside a celebration of some of the wonderful features and activities you find on the Heath today.

On Sunday, June 27, Heath Hands are organising a community fun day around the Parliament Hill Bandstand which will include a kite flying event organised by the Heath and Hampstead Society.

On Tuesday,  June 29, the date which marks the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Hampstead Heath Act, visitors will be encouraged to visit the areas of the Heath which were saved in 1871.

To tie all of these wonderful events together, along with other local events still to be announced, we will be using #Heath150 on social media. There will also be further information on the events planned on the Heath webpages: cityoflondon.gov.uk/hampsteadheath

I do hope you will be able to join us for these celebrations as we enter the summer months.

Anne Fairweather is chair of the City of London Corporation's Hampstead Heath management committee.