City of London Corporation celebrates 30 years of managing Hampstead Heath

The view from Parliament Hill. Picture: Ken Mears

The view from Parliament Hill. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

The City of London Corporation is celebrating thirty years since it took over Hampstead Heath, this weekend.

Hampstead Pond no.1. Picture: Ken Mears

Hampstead Pond no.1. Picture: Ken Mears - Credit: Archant

On March 31 1989, the CoLC took over responsibility for the historic site after the dissolution of the Greater London Council, which had care of it previously.

It was nearly carved up between Camden, Barnet and Haringey, before a Heath and Hampstead Society campaign meant it went to the ColC.

There will be a programme of events later this year to mark the anniversary.

Since 1989, it has hosted a number of athletic events, and also holds an annual “conkers championship” in the autumn.

Karina Dostalova, chairman of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath Management Committee, said:

“We are proud to be the guardians of Hampstead Heath, the most iconic of London’s open spaces, and a sanctuary in the heart of our busy capital.

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“For centuries, the Heath has been used and enjoyed by local people and Londoners for a wide range of pursuits.

“Our dedicated staff and volunteers will continue to work with our local communities to make sure that the Heath is protected for future generations to come.

Marc Hutchison, chair of the Heath and Hampstead Society, said:

“Thirty years ago [we] were horrified at the Thatcher government’s proposal to divide the management of Hampstead Heath between the local boroughs of Camden, Barnet and Haringey.

“We were therefore relieved at the success of our campaign to get the City of London Corporation to agree to take up the challenge. The Heath could not ask for a more caring and competent manager.

“We have worked in close partnership with them ever since by helping to devise and implement coherent plans to preserve the “natural aspect” of the Heath, as specified in the original 1871 legislation protecting the Heath from development, and to oppose inappropriate development on the fringes of the Heath.”