Report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath.
The group received a report of the Superintendent of Hampstead Heath that provided an update since November 2016 on management and operational activities including; operational working arrangements, income generation, sustainability, conservation, infrastructure and facilities
Developments to date:
Members were informed of developments within the Park to date and noted the following;
- Last year, the Park received a Green Flag Award. The Park was ‘mystery shopped this year. The outcome will be announced on the 18 July 2017.
- The Park is hoping to maintain its London in Bloom Gold Award.
Junior Park Run;
The ‘Junior Parkrun’ which started in January 2017 has to date seen up to 100 children taking part in the event each Sunday morning. The event is a great way in which children are able to get involved in sports and fitness. Members queried whether any money was raised from the ‘Junior Parkrun’. However, they were informed that this was not the case as the event was funded through sponsorship and runners are not charged to participate in the run. There will however, be a local fun run which has been organised by the Ark Franklin School in which any monies raised would go towards projects at the school.
There had been an increase in the number of individuals using the tennis courts. The intake on the summer tennis coaching was high and had been well received. The introduction of ‘ClubSpark’ (a bespoke online booking system) had seen a 17% increase in its use. In addition, the introduction of the new system has also had an impact in reducing the amount of time being spent by staff members booking individuals onto the tennis courts, allowing them to focus their time elsewhere in the Park on other duties.
There is additional work required to maintain the tennis courts. It is anticipated that works will begin during the winter months. Courts will be painted in early spring and members were also informed that courts 5 and 6 required repair. Members suggested looking at funding options provided by the Wembley National Stadium Trust to ascertain whether the Park was able to secure any funding towards sporting events.
It was noted that there is currently a donation box within the farm area which generates approximately £2k per annum. Members discussed the implementation of a donation box to be situated near the paddling pool area. The area is highly popular and widely used during its opening months of May – September. Access is free and there is a member of staff present at all times. The paddling pool area has had a number of updates in the past, with additional works due to be conducted later on in the year. It was considered that the implementation of an interactive donation box would not only be informative and act as a means of providing education to users about the Park, but it could also entice further giving. Suggestions for the interactive donation box could also include information on how donated monies are used to contribute to the upkeep of the Park and to improve park services. Members asked that consideration be given to the implementation of donation boxes across other Parks within the City.
Members further discussed methods in which information relating to the Park is shared and communicated to users. A number of suggestions included information being shared on the Park website, via an app designed for the Park, notice boards around the café area, posters, and bite size information located around the Park. Further, it was noted that the way in which information is shared would be dependent on the content of information.
RESOLVED – That:-
(a) Members noted the dates and times of the Queen’s Park Bandstand events in the summer. Bookings for the Bandstand continued for parties and that any monies generated would be reinvested back in to the Park.
(b) The implementation of an interactive donation box to be researched and installed near the paddling pool area.
(c) The Division’s Communication Officer to consider methods in which information is delivered and widely communicated to Park users.