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A dalmation on a lead calmly sits in front of its owner.

Responsible dog walkers and their dogs are very welcome on Hampstead Heath. The Heath is a great place to walk dogs, and they are part of the character of this special place.

Regulations and guidelines

As with all of our visitors, we ask that dog-walkers consider other people when visiting the Heath with their dogs. In surveys, dog fouling and poor dog control come out at the top of people's dislikes, so it is vital that we act to ensure that a few anti-social dog walkers do not spoil the Heath for other people.

Basic guidelines

These five rules are designed as easy-to-follow common sense guidelines to help you keep to the laws and byelaws of the Heath:

  • Clean up after your dog
  • Keep your dog under control and be prepared to put it on a lead if necessary
  • Follow rules on Hampstead Heath notices
  • Be considerate of other people and be aware that some people find dogs intimidating
  • Do not walk more than six dogs at once

Most of these guidelines are in laws and byelaws, which means you may be fined or prosecuted for breaking them. If you'd like a better sense of the word of the law, please read on.

Byelaws

Byelaws exist on Hampstead Heath which visiting dog-walkers should know and follow. These byelaws are policed by the Hampstead Heath Constabulary and if you breach them you could be fined or prosecuted.

You should:

  • Keep your dog under proper control and effectively restrained from injuring or disturbing other people and animals
  • Keep your dog from running on flower beds or injuring trees, shrubs or plants
  • Keep your dog from entering any lake, river or pond with a notice or sign which prohibits dogs
  • Keep your dog on a lead and muzzled in an area where signs state you must do so
  • Do not train or race any dogs

To see the proper legal wording and context of these byelaws, please see our Hampstead Heath byelaws page.

Dog Control Orders

In addition to Hampstead Heath's own byelaws, the London Borough of Camden has implemented Dog Control Orders under section 55 of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. These also apply to those parts of Hampstead Heath within Camden's administrative area.

The offences provided for are:

  • Failing to remove dog faeces
  • Permitting a dog to enter land from which dogs are excluded
  • Failure to have a dog on a lead when requested to do so by an authorised officer
Published:
12 October 2015
Last Modified:
20 August 2018

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