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Date updated: 9/24/2021

Model Boating Pond Island - wildlife sanctuary

Hampstead Heath is a lasting remnant of London’s former countryside. It provides opportunities for quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the natural world. Its vast size makes it a unique, quiet, habitat rich space close to the centre of London.

The Heath has over 30 ponds, with many created in the 17th Century as reservoirs. They are a haven for wildlife such as waterfowl, amphibians and aquatic insects. In recent years, habitats such as wetland planting have been introduced to many of the ponds to encourage biodiversity.

As part of a major water safety scheme completed in 2016, an ‘island’ (connected with a section of land) was created in the Model Boating Pond to protect a group of established trees. It was closed to the public whilst planting took place and wildflower meadows were established. As a result, the area has become an important reserve for various species of birds which have made this their home.

The Model Boating Pond island has since been designated ‘a sanctuary’ with no public access. Moorhens and great crested grebes have built nests on the edge of the island. A shy snipe was found using the new planting area as a refuge, showing the value of keeping this area as a dedicated place for wildlife.

To ensure the Model Boating Pond Island remains a sanctuary for wildlife, we need your support to raise £50,000 which will enable us to:

• Remove the connecting section of land to create a ‘true island’
• Establish further wetland planting where the connecting section of land has been removed
• Create wildlife homes on the island, including amphibian and reptile hibernaculum
• Install temporary fencing to protect the new planting
• Monitor the flora and fauna which are using the island
• Create a flourishing green space for a mosaic of natural habitats

Every donation, whatever its value, is vital to enable works that enhance the wildlife value of Hampstead Heath.

Hampstead Heath is a 275-hectare open space located in the London Boroughs of Camden and Barnet. It is managed by the City of London Corporation and is a registered charity (number 803392).

*Please note: If monies are raised above the required amount, or in the case that insufficient monies are raised to enable the project to go ahead, the amounts raised would be directed to similar projects within the charity.

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Extension playground 

The Hampstead Heath Extension playground is a popular playground which currently offers opportunities for young children and families to have fun, explore and be active. Working in conjunction with the local community, Hampstead Heath has launched an exciting project to broaden the age range of the play equipment, introduce natural play features and ensure the playground is accessible for all.

Before it became a public open space, the Heath Extension was farmland known as Wyldes Farm and the area still retains this character with individual fields, hedges and boundary trees. The playground is situated in what was the 'Lower Wield Pightle Field' on the farm. This setting has informed the design and materials, which are in keeping with the natural aspect of the Heath Extension and its rich history.

We need your support to raise £40,000 for this project. This will provide a wide range of play experiences in a safe enclosed area, allowing children of different ages and abilities to play together. Examples of additional play items that can be incorporated with your support include:

  • A basket swing
  • A fallen tree climbing structure
  • A platform slide
  • A woven willow structure
  • A rope trail
  • Additional seating
  • Grass mounds

We will also be repositioning some of the existing play equipment to enable better use of the playground space and encourage natural play through the addition of native planting around the outside of the playground. This will provide interesting smells, sounds and textures, support wildlife and improve biodiversity.

Every donation, whatever its value is vital to help transform the playground to provide a welcoming, accessible, challenging and fun play space on the Heath Extension.

The Hampstead Heath Extension has been owned and maintained by the City of London Corporation and is part of Hampstead Heath, a registered charity (charity number 803392).

Please note: If monies are raised above the required amount, they will be directed to similar projects to redevelop playgrounds within the Hampstead Heath charity.

Hampstead-heath-extension-playground
Drawing of Hampstead Heath extension playground
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Bird and mammal shelters

Hampstead Heath is a lasting remnant of London’s former countryside. It provides opportunities for quiet enjoyment and appreciation of the natural world. Its vast size makes it a unique, quiet, habitat rich space close to the centre of London.

We need your support to raise £5,000 to create shelters and homes to increase the opportunities for birds and mammals to thrive on Hampstead Heath.

This money will enable us to:
• Purchase and install 30 bat boxes and bat roosts for the nine species of bat which have been detected on Hampstead Heath
• Purchase and install 30 bird boxes, including specialist boxes for tawny owls, kestrels and house sparrows
• Purchase and install 30 hedgehog nest boxes. Hampstead Heath supports a widespread population of hedgehogs and is an important location in London for these iconic mammals, which are in national decline

Every donation, whatever its value, is vital to enable works that enhance the wildlife value of Hampstead Heath.

Hampstead Heath is a 275-hectare open space located in the London Boroughs of Camden and Barnet. It is managed by the City of London Corporation and is a registered charity (number 803392).

Please note: If monies are raised above the required amount, or in the case that insufficient monies are raised to enable the project to go ahead, the amounts raised would be directed to similar projects within the charity.

Donate to Bird and mammal shelters