Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
The Committee received a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath that provided a review of the Management Operations and activities carried out on the Heath over the past 12 months as part of the 2014 Annual Work Programme, and considered the new 2015 Annual Work Programme.
The Conservation and Trees Manager advised that the control of tree disease had been well maintained despite the difficulties of having to deal with an extensive clean-up operation following the unusually wet winter in 2013/14. He added that all four members of the Heath’s Tree Team were now qualified as LANTRA Professional Tree Inspectors.
The Conservation and Trees Manager reported that the Conservation Team had successfully trialled the use of a widely used vegetable die to control algae growth at the Whitestone Pond. As a result, work to control algae growth was now a monthly instead of a weekly process. In response to a question from Mary Port, the Ecologist advised that the Highgate No. 1 pond would be re-opened as soon as they were satisfied that the level of algae was safe for dogs. He added that they would continue to check that discarded fishing tackle had been removed from all of the fishing ponds regularly to reduce the risk of harm to wildlife, especially to swans and water fowl.
Members were advised that a wildflower strip was to be introduced next to the rugby pitch on the heath extension, which a member had suggested on the recent Consultative Committee walk. In response to a question regarding the control of bramble, the Ecologist reported that it had extended recently but no attempt would be made to eradicate it as it was a useful habitat on the Heath. In response to a question, the Ecologist agreed that dog faeces tended to be deposited in rough grassland, which increased nutrients and encouraged unwanted species such as thistle.
The Chairman encouraged members of the Consultative Committee to provide their detailed comments on the 2015 Annual Work Programme to the Conservation and Trees Manager.
RESOLVED – That the work undertaken during 2014 to enhance the natural aspect and designed landscapes within the Heath and the proposed 2015 Annual Work Plan, be noted.