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This exhibition is part of #Heath150, a celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Hampstead Heath Act 1871. This marked the beginning of the protection of open spaces as sanctuaries for nature, people and communities, which are still important to us all today. Find out more using #Heath150. 

White logo of Heath 150 on blue background

Hampstead Heath: 23 June - 8 August

The passing of the Hampstead Heath Act 1871 preserved the original Heath as a public open space. It was a significant moment in the protection of the Heath as we know it today. After decades of rapid urbanisation and expansion, the role of green spaces in being the lungs of the capital was legally established. The individuals who led the fight to protect the Heath and elsewhere, also became founder members of new organisations to protect the nation’s built and natural environments, beginning the tradition of volunteer engagement which still flourishes.

Today, the Heath, along with other open green spaces within and around London, is home to a wide variety of sometimes rare and endangered plant and animal species, as well as being vital to the health and well being of millions of Londoners

The 150th anniversary of the passing of the Hampstead Heath Act is an opportunity to tell the story of how the Heath and other open spaces were preserved for the benefit of the public, how the Heath has changed over time as a result of this protection and use, as well as the role we can all play in ensuring it remains as a protected wild habitat for the species that live there and the people who visit it every day. 

Photograph © Matt Maran
Green and white logo of Hampstead Heath 150