Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
The Operational Services Manager introduced a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath on landscape improvement works at Parliament Hill (Kite Hill). He noted that the summit of the hill was a popular venue for views over London and was therefore heavily compacted. He noted that the proposed response was not to use hard surfaces in order to cope with the areas heavy use, but instead seek to manage the wear of the site in such a way that was sensitive to the natural aspect of the Heath – this would be done using seven principles outlined within the report. He concluded by outlining proposed works, including relocation of bins (and the provision of additional temporary bins at busy periods such as New Year Eve and Bonfire Night); decompaction of soil on a rolling basis; and updating and resiting of interpretation boards.
John Etheridge commented that he did not wish for the trees on the southern slope of Kite Hill to be cut back. Mary Port replied that, instead, she agreed with the views expressed on the Saturday Walk that the trees in question should be cut back and restricted in order to open up the vista across London. Jeremy Wright agreed, and suggested that the view opened up should be wider than that set out within the Strategic View adopted by the Greater London Authority.
In response to a question from Susan Nettleton regarding a new sign, the Superintendent replied that the current sign would be updated using a modern photograph accompanied with a QR code to be used by persons with smart phones. He added that the Heath and Hampstead Society had kindly agreed to fund the new signage.
Richard Sumray commented that he would not welcome additional benches on Kite Hill. The Operational Services Manager replied that no additional benches were proposed, simply relocation of the existing number.
In response to an observation from Mary Port regarding the installation of cobbles around the interpretative signage, the Operational Services Manager commented that this would be an improvement to the existing unsightly concrete base.