Members considered the Annual Impact Report 2018-2019 and the following comments were made:
· A Member (London Council for Recreation and Sport) stated that the Outcomes were not clear and were more inputs of processes rather than outcomes. He recommended changing the wording to describe what steps were needed to quantify what was trying to be achieved.
· With regards to “A - The Heath is maintained as a flourishing green space and historic landscape”, a Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) felt that this did not go far enough, and that emphasis needed to be on the natural environment. He felt that it would be helpful for the document to provide a high-level explanation of what is happening to manage the Heath and monitor this to demonstrate what is being achieved.
· Members felt that the survey was old fashioned looking with intrusive questions (particularly questions 4-6) and recommended more subtle and friendly questioning. The Superintendent confirmed that the survey was an early draft but stressed the need for good data to regularly test that the Heath remains inclusive for all users. It was hoped that all data would be obtained by March 2020 to deliver on the Outcomes.
· A Member disagreed with the reference to the Heath’s thriving aquatic planting and wildflower meadows noting that in recent years since the Ponds Project aquatic planting had become very patchy and that wildflowers were minimal in the grassland. The Superintendent advised that he had reviewed the developing meadows with an ecologist and the soils were gradually improving. He confirmed that targeted work was happening at the Heath, e.g. haymaking, to encourage wildflowers. It was agreed the word “improving” would be a more accurate description than “thriving”.
· A Member (Hampstead Garden Suburb Residents' Association) felt that Annual Report was trying to be too scientific. Members were advised that the aim was for the datasets to provide indicators of achieving the Outcomes to measure change. The Superintendent agreed that more work was needed to develop the process and give an evidence-based review.
· In response to a query from a Member (Highgate Society) regarding taking advantage of match funding to monetise the Heath, Members were advised that all tasks were led by the Heath Team.
· A Member (Highgate Society) that a survey question asking the public what the Heath means to them would be beneficial.
· The Deputy Chair suggested including a scale of 1-5 for each question.
RESOLVED – That Members give their views on the draft Annual Impact Report 2018/19 (appendix 1).