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Hampstead Heath, North London


Location: Central London

Region: London & the South East

Grid Ref:

Owner / Manager: City of London

Access: Public

Hampstead Heath is one of London’s most popular open spaces. Its mosaic of habitats provides a resource for wildlife just 6km from Trafalgar Square. At 791 acres it is spread across three London boroughs (Barnet, Camden and Haringey), and is preserved in its semi-natural state by North London Open Spaces (NLOS), a division of the City of London Corporation. It is an island of beautiful ‘urban countryside’ whose magic lies not only in its rich wildlife and extensive sports and recreational opportunities, but also in its proximity and accessibility to millions of people. As a Site of Metropolitan Importance, Hampstead Heath provides buffer land to the neighbouring SSSI (English Heritage’s Kenwood Estate) and is of national as well as regional importance, hosting a number of priority species identified in the UK Biodiversity Action Plan, including lesser spotted woodpecker, bullfinch, stag beetle and grass snake. The heaths tree population contains a number of older veteran trees. Typically these are relicts of former boundaries, many now engulfed in woodland of more modern origin. Over 800 old trees were identified by volunteers in a survey during 2006-7, of which 400 – 500 are veteran oak, beech, wild service & field maple, a handful of those can be classed as ancient.

>>Blog about managing standing dead veteran trees at Hampstead Heath by David Humphries

3 Comments | Leave a Comment

  • Edward King says:
    Posted January 21, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    This a wonderful tree in The Proposal, a painting by James Dromgole Linton. It was probably painted somewhere around London. Do you know if it’s still around? Respectfully, E King

    Reply
  • Hannah Solloway says:
    Posted January 27, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    David Humphries, Trees Manager at Hampstead Heath, says that as the painter died in Hampstead, it’s possible he may have painted these beech trees locally. If they were at Hampstead though, they (certainly the largest of the pair) haven’t survived. ‘The one on the left looks like a maiden and the one on the right more like a very lapsed pollard, both appear to be on a slightly raised old wood bank. The attire of the people in the painting looks pre Victorian which may mean the artist (born in 1840 – died 1916) painted a Historical depiction from the 18th century rather than a live subject

    Reply
    • Edward King says:
      Posted January 27, 2016 at 1:56 pm

      Thank you.

      Reply

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