Agenda and minutes

Venue: Education Centre, Parliament Hill Fields, Hampstead Heath, NW5 1QR

Contact: Alistair MacLellan  Email:

No. Item




Apologies were received from Helen Payne, Susan Rose, Steve Ripley and John Weston

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Declarations Under the Code of Conduct in Respect of Items on the Agenda


There were no declarations.

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Minutes pdf icon PDF 153 KB

To agree the public minutes and summary of the meeting held on 8 July 2013 (copy attached).

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The minutes of the meeting dated Monday 8 July 2013 were approved as a correct record subject to the following amendments:


Members Present

Committee members to have the name of the group they are representing given in the list of attendees.


Item 1 Apologies

Ian Harrison noted that he had submitted his apologies for the 8 July meeting.


Item 4 Reports of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath

‘(Copies attached)’ to be deleted.


Item 4.3 Progress Report on Enhancement of Landscaping Works to Bull Path and Surrounding Areas

‘Three tupes of buttercup’ to be amended to ‘Three types…’


Matters Arising

Dog Walking

The Chairman noted that the report on commercial dog walking on the Heath, that had been intended for the present meeting, would now be submitted to the committee meeting in January 2014.



The Chairman noted that an update on planning decisions would form part of the Superintendent’s update in the current meeting.


Affordable Art Fair

In response to a question from Ian Harrison the Superintendent confirmed that the Affordable Art Fair proposal for a ‘Grow London’ event had been submitted to, and approved by, the Hampstead Heath, Highgate Wood and Queen’s Park Committee in September 2013.


London Borough of Camden Flood Warning Letter

The Superintendent apologised that he had not circulated a letter from the London Borough of Camden detailing information to local residents on the risks associated with flooding, as had been promised at the July meeting. He undertook to circulate the letter as promised, and took the opportunity to update the committee that Camden would be issuing maps of at-risk areas of surface water flooding in early December 2013. The information provided by Camden would similarly be circulated to the committee.


Cycle Stands

In response to a query from Mary Port over the installation

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 3.


Draft Minutes of the Hampstead Heath Sports Advisory Forum Meeting dated 23 September 2013 pdf icon PDF 144 KB


At the invitation of the Chairman, Richard Sumray made some comments on the draft minutes of the recent Sports Advisory Forum meeting.


Places, People and Play

Mr Sumray drew the committee’s attention to the issue of the funding position that was affecting refurbishment works on the athletics track and the cricket pavilion upgrade. He noted that the Ponds Project was resulting in a lack of staff resources, impacting on the ability to seek external funding for such works.


British Military Fitness (BMF)

Mr Sumray noted that BMF was keen to engage with wider activities on the Heath, such as the staging of classes at a recent ‘Give it a Go’ event. He argued that such willingness should be encouraged and put to good effect.


Charging Policy – Athletics and Cricket

Mr Sumray noted that the principles behind the planned charging policy were sound, but that he would be meeting with the Superintendent to discuss the best way to make progress.


Bowls and Croquet – New Lease

Mr Sumray noted that he would be meeting with the Superintendent shortly to discuss the new lease of the Parliament Hill Bowling Green. The Chairman noted that this would take place around 26/27 November.


Changing Facilities – Athletics Track

Mr Sumray stated that the lack of showers at the changing facilities currently on offer at the Parliament Hill athletics track was unacceptable. The Superintendent agreed, and noted the Director had been liaising with the Chamberlain’s and City Surveyor’s Departments to identify and implement a long term solution. In the meantime he informed the committee that portable showers would be arriving later in the week, on 17 November.


The Director of Open Spaces noted that she had been given an assurance from the Chamberlain that funding for a longer term solution had been identified and

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Superintendent's Update

The Superintendent of Hampstead Heath to be heard.


 ...  view the full agenda text for item 4.


The committee agreed to amend the order of business so that the Superintendent’s Update would be considered ahead of the Reports of the Superintendent.


RESOLVED: that the Superintendent’s Update be moved from Item 5 on the published agenda to Item 4; and that Reports of the Superintendent be moved from Item 4 to Item 5.


St Jude’s Day Storm

The Superintendent updated the committee on the impact of the St Jude’s Day storm on 28 October. He noted that it had reached the Heath around 0630 and was largely over by 0715, and that the Sandy Heath area had been the worst affected, with some paths still closed as a result. Overall around 50 trees had been snapped or brought down on the Heath, with a further 50-60 trees suffering damage to their crowns. Nevertheless a lot of veteran trees on the Heath had been spared damage, thanks to recent works.


The Superintendent went on to note that Highgate Wood had been particularly affected, potentially due to it being located on higher ground compared to the Heath, with 100 trees damaged. He informed the committee that staff resources would be diverted from the Heath to Highgate Wood to deal with the damage. He noted that staff had been exemplary in their response to the storm, coming in early on the day and working hard to deal with the storm’s impact. He concluded by saying that – with the fatality at Kew a year ago arising from a snapped branch – Highgate Wood with its high proportion of damaged trees had remained closed to the public for a few days after the storm whilst assessment and remedial works were carried out.


National Cross-Country Championships

The Superintendent informed the committee that the National Cross-Country Championships would be returning to the Heath

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Reports of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath :-



Progress Report on Construction of a Stumpery in the woodland walk way - Golders Hill Park pdf icon PDF 2 MB

Additional documents:


The Operational Manager updated the committee on the creation of a stumpery within Golders Hill Park, phase one of which had now been completed. He noted that overall the project, that had seen cooperation between Hampstead Heath and Epping Forest staff, had been a success and that a great deal of appreciation for the stumpery had been expressed by members of the public. In response to a question from Colin Gregory, the Operational Manager confirmed that further stumps would be installed as part of a later project phase.


John Hunt expressed his congratulations on the project. He said that it might arguably rivalled its counterpart at Highgrove and that the stream was particularly notable. The Superintendent agreed and updated the committee on the intention to install a pump to allow the stream to flow.


Jeremy Wright informed the committee that the Heath Sub Committee of the Heath and Hampstead Society considered the stumpery to be brilliant.


The Operational Manager noted that the project had been very much led by staff within Golders Hill Park. The committee decided to place on record their appreciation to Sean Dillon and Ciaran O’Keeffe, the two staff in question.


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Report on maintenance works and future proposals at the Hill Garden & Pergola pdf icon PDF 2 MB


The Operational Manager introduced the report on maintenance works and future proposals at the Hill Garden and Pergola. He highlighted that a decade of repair works had been carried out in cooperation with the City Surveyor’s Department and that the photographs appended to the report gave a good impression of what had been achieved. The repair works had also made it possible to give serious consideration to the use of the Pergola as a venue for marriages and civil ceremonies.


The Superintendent provided the committee with further background on the use of the Pergola for marriages and civil ceremonies. He noted that this had been an aspiration in the management plan but had been a relatively low priority. Nevertheless the City of London had been proactively approached by the Superintendent Registrar for Camden who was very supportive of the use of the Pergola for ceremonies. The Superintendent Registrar had confirmed that requirements for toilet facilities and an interview room could be met using adjacent facilities such as the café in Golders Hill Park.


In light of the strong support from Camden for an application to be submitted, the Superintendent noted that the question was now to decide on the appropriate balance between the number of ceremonies conducted, in light of the potential for revenue, versus the wish to ensure the Pergola remained open to the public. He informed the committee that this would be among a range of issues considered in a report that would go to the January 2014 meeting of the committee. He concluded by noting that the Hampstead Heath Business Manager had been on a fact-finding visit to Hylands Park Chelmsford to observe best practice in conducting ceremonies in public open space, and he further underlined the potential for much needed revenue arising from the use of

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Hampstead Heath's Hedges and Their Management pdf icon PDF 93 KB

Additional documents:


The Hampstead Heath Ecologist introduced the report on Hampstead Heath’s hedges and their management. She noted that she had surveyed the hedges on the Heath throughout 2012 and part of this process had meant defining what constituted a hedge. Of the definition adopted within the report, over 7km of hedges existed on the Heath, but this rose to 20km if a looser interpretation was applied. She concluded by noting that the landscape of the Heath, including its hedges, had changed significantly during the past century.  A ten-year management plan had been drawn up, which was appended to the report.


In response to a comment from Richard Sumray that he found it hard to identify within the report the development of new, and the restoration of existing hedges, the Hampstead Heath Ecologist replied that it was extremely difficult to restore a hedge that had declined. She added that new hedges had been installed on the Heath in the past, particularly around the Bull Path, and that a balance had to be struck in maintaining the natural aspect of the Heath by ensuring the existing landscape was not broken up by inappropriate planting of new hedges.


In response to a question from Colin Gregory, the Hampstead Heath Ecologist replied that the management of hedges was included in the Hampstead Heath work programme and that it complied with existing strategic polices. The Superintendent added that the new Hedges Management Plan could be explicitly linked to policies in future documents.


Colin Gregory took the opportunity to remark on a hedge near the cricket pitch on the Hampstead Heath Extension, noting that its restoration as a narrow hedge would not be welcome due to its location in screening views.


Susan Nettleton thanked the Hampstead Heath Ecologist for her report and remarked that she welcomed the

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Hampstead Heath Ponds Project - Preferred Options Report and Non-Statutory Consultation pdf icon PDF 128 KB

Additional documents:


The Chairman introduced the report on the Hampstead Heath Ponds Project Preferred Options Report and Non-Statutory Consultation. He noted that the Ponds Project Stakeholder Group (PPSG) existed under the aegis of the Hampstead Heath Consultative Committee and that the PPSG had met on around 20 occasions over the past 12 months, and its members had shown commitment and energy to the task at hand throughout. The PPSG had been given the support and assistance of the Strategic Landscape Architect (SLA) Peter Wilder who had also facilitated a number of PPSG workshops. There now existed two preferred options on each chain of ponds which were detailed within the current report before the committee. He noted that the Corporation was obliged to follow the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) guidance on the works required on the Heath dams and that the project costs – over £15m – were not being allocated or spent lightly. He told the committee that the eventual works decided upon would be the minimum required. He concluded by saying the work of the PPSG had been key in informing the project to date, and noted that if works were restricted to the three statutory dams rather than spread across the two pond chains as currently proposed then the resulting impact on the Heath’s natural aspect would be greater.


The Superintendent then took the opportunity to address the committee, and welcomed the Assistant Director of Engineering, the Responsible Officer for the safety and integrity of the Hampstead Heath dams. The Superintendent highlighted the core objective of the project, the prevention of the dams breaching as a result of storm events. He noted that a design philosophy had emerged throughout the project process to date. This philosophy was anchored on the need to preserve the natural aspect of the Heath

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There were no questions.

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Any Other Business That the Chairman Considers Urgent


There was no other business.

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Date of Next Meeting


The next meeting will be held on Monday 20 January 2014 at 1900hrs in the Education Centre, Parliament Hill Fields, Hampstead Heath, NW5 1QR.

 ...  view the full minutes text for item 8.