Agenda item

Hampstead Heath Sports Advisory Forum Minutes

To receive the public minutes of the Hampstead Heath Sports Advisory Forum meeting held on 9 February 2015.


Richard Sumray updated members on issues discussed at the February 2015 Sports Advisory Forum. He highlighted three issues in particular, namely the forum’s concern at the water loss at the Lido, potential habitat issues posed by the Mid-Summer Trail Run, and the support of the Forum for the establishment of a Green Gym on the Heath.


The Chairman noted that the Green Gym proposal was outlined in greater detail within the agenda pack. The Superintendent went on to explain that the proposal had been raised by the London Borough of Camden’s Head of Sport and Physical Activity, and the views of the Consultative Committee were now sought. He noted that the eventual location of the gym would be dependent on demographic work to be undertaken by Camden, and moreover the gym would not be aimed at serious gym users but instead persons to whom greater health and wellbeing had been recommended by their local doctors.


Jeremy Wright noted that he was supportive of the proposal in principle but concerned over where the gym would be located. It should not be located in Duke’s Field or the space around the pentanque area where it would likely affect the recently planted orchard and create an area vulnerable to erosion. He understood that the gym equipment would require hard paving, therefore he recommended the gym be sited near the Trim-Trail, the Lido, or in the corner of the cricket field behind the old garage.


Richard Sumray noted his support for the proposal due to its health and wellbeing benefits. He suggested that the gym would need to be located somewhere where it could be seen and readily accessible. He added that he would like to see similar proposals for Golders Hill Park and the Heath Extension. The Chairman noted that this was more a matter for the new Barnet Park Champion.


Simon Taylor noted that a Trim-Trail location made sense given that it would complement both the playground and the athletics track.


Susan Rose noted that she considered the proposal potentially unsightly, and that it would detract from the natural aspect of the Heath. Mary Port agreed, noting that siting the gym would be crucial – it should not be near a main entrance but instead on the Trim-Trail or near the Lido.


Colin Gregory added his support for the health and wellbeing benefit of a gym, and for its potential location on the Trim-Trail. He queried whether it would be sensible to look at other locations of outdoor gyms so a judgment on best-practice and ideal items of equipment could be made.


In response to a question from Colin Gregory, Richard Sumray replied that no view had yet been taken on a Cross-Country event on the Heath Extension.


John Weston added that he would welcome a look to be taken at other gyms to establish what kit would be best. Richard Sumray noted that the company that operated the equipment was experienced and able to make a judgment on what equipment to operate on the Heath.


In response to a question from Mary Port, the Chairman replied that the London Borough of Camden would be responsible for ensuring the maintenance of the equipment for the first three years. The Superintendent undertook to convey the views of the Consultative Committee to the London Borough of Camden.


Supporting documents: