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A Constabulary officer speaking with a member of public on Hampstead Heath.

​Highgate Wood has 28 byelaws. These are laws which exist in addition to UK law, pertain specifically to Highgate Wood, and support us in preserving it and the interests of its users.

Highgate Wood byelaws are enforced by the Hampstead Heath Constabulary.

If you break any byelaw, it is a criminal offence and can be prosecuted.

How to follow the byelaws

There are byelaws pertaining to damaging the Wood, nuisance behaviour, horses, dogs and other animals; vehicles, sports, games, meetings, music and sales and the handling of money; amongst other things.

As a guideline, we recommend you read the byelaws if you think you may be engaging in an activity that might be regulated in Highgate Wood. It is your responsibility as a user to be aware of the byelaws.

Through Highgate Wood you will see City of London signs which may direct you in your behaviour. It is likely that these are supported by byelaws and so we ask that you follow any such rules or regulations or risk breaking the law and being appropriately punished.

The full text of Highgate Wood's byelaws is available below.

If you have any queries regarding these byelaws, please contact us.

​Byelaws for Highgate Wood and Queens Park, Kilburn

Introduction and terms

Byelaws made by The Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London in pursuance of the Corporation of London (Open Spaces) Act 1878, the Highgate and Kilburn Open Spaces Act 1886 and the Open Spaces Act 1906 for the regulation of the use of Highgate Wood and Queens Park Kilburn.

Highgate Wood Byelaws are enforced by Hampstead Heath Constabulary who have the powers and privileges of a constable within their jurisdiction under article 16 of the Corporation of London Open Spaces Act 1878.

1. In these Byelaws unless the context otherwise requires:-

“Open Space” means an area of land described in the schedule hereto;

“The Corporation” means the Mayor and Commonalty and Citizens of the City of London;

“The Playground” means the Playground set apart in the Open Space;

“power-driven model aircraft” means any model aircraft driven by the combustion of petrol vapour or other combustible substance.

“Highgate Wood” means the open space described in paragraph 1 of Schedule 1 hereto;

“Queens Park” means the open space described in paragraph 2 of Schedule 1 hereto;

“The dog prohibited areas” means the areas set out and described in Schedule 2 hereto;

“The canine faeces removal areas” means the area set out and described in Schedule 3 hereto;

“The sports ground” means the area of mown lawn located in the centre of Highgate Wood used for sporting and leisure activities;

“The Keeper” in Byelaw 13A shall include the owner of the dog or any person who habitually has it in his possession.

Opening and times

​2. Opening

The open space shall be opened at such hour in the forenoon and shall be closed at such hour in the afternoon as shall from time to time be specified on the notice board set up by the Corporation and exhibited in some suitable and conspicuous position at or near to each of the entrances to the Open Space.

Provided always that this Byelaw shall not be deemed to require the Open Space to be opened and closed at the hours hereinbefore prescribed in any day when, in pursuance of any statutory provision in that behalf, the Corporation close the Open Space to the public.

3. Times

On any day which the Open Space is open to the public a person shall not enter it before the time to enter or remain in it after the time appointed in the foregoing Byelaw No. 2.

4. Staff exemption

An act necessary to the proper execution of his duty in the Open Space by an Officer of the Corporation or by any person or the servant of any person employed, engaged or appointed by the Corporation shall not be deemed an offence against these Byelaws.

Prohibited behaviour

​5. A person shall not in the Open Space:-

(1) Brawl, fight, quarrel or create any disorder;

(2) Behave in an indecent manner;

(3) Behave to the annoyance of any person;

(4) Use profane; indecent, obscene or offensive language;

(5) Carry or discharge any firearm or air or any other gun or pistol;

(6) Throw any stone or other missile;

(7) Use any instrument, crossbow, catapult or golf club for projecting any stone, ball or missile;

(8) Gamble, bet or play with cards or dice;

(9) Kindle or Keep alight any fire or set fire to any substance whether growing or not;

(10) Place, throw or leave any lighted fuses, firework, match or other material to the danger of any building, article, tree, shrub or plant or of any persons;

(11) importune any person for the purpose of taking any photograph;

(12) Enter or remain in the Open Space while intoxicated;

(13) Deposit or leave in the Open Space any material or rubbish;

(14) Except in an emergency land a helicopter or other aircraft in an Open Space or enter an Open Space therefrom;

(15) engage in camping;

(16) Being one of an assemblage of persons, take photographs of still or moving subjects for the purpose of or in connection with a business, trade or profession or employment or any activity carried on by a body of persons whether corporate or otherwise, unless in pursuance of an agreement with the Corporation;

(17) Take part in any public meeting for the purpose of discussing any subject political or religious or otherwise, or preach or deliver any public address, or take part in any parade, assembly march or demonstration unless the same shall be held pursuant to an agreement made with the Corporation;

Damage; structures; advertisement

​6. A person shall not in the Open Space:-

(1) Wilfully, carelessly or negligently deface, injure or destroy any wall or fence in or enclosing the Open Space or any building, barrier, railing, post or seat or any erection or ornament;

(2) Wilfully, carelessly or negligently soil or defile any wall or fence in or enclosing the Open Space or any building, barrier, railing, post or seat or any erection or ornament;

(3) Climb any wall or fence in or enclosing the Open Space or any barrier, railing, post or other erection;

(4) Wilfully, carelessly or negligently remove or displace any barrier, railing, post or seat or any part of any erection or ornament or any implement provided for use in the laying out or maintenance of the Open Space.

7. A person shall not in the Open Space walk, run, stand or sit or lie upon;

(1) Any grass, turf or other place where adequate notice to keep off such grass, turf or other place is exhibited: Provided that such notice shall not apply to more than one-fifth of the area of the Open Space;

(2) Any flower bed, shrub or plant or any ground in course of preparation as a flower bed or for the growth of any tree, shrub or plant.

8. Advertising and structures and fixings

A person shall not affix any bill, placard or notice to or upon any wall or fence in or enclosing the Open Space or to or upon any tree or plant or to or upon any part of any building, barrier or railing or to any seat or to any other erection or ornament in the Open Space.

9. A person shall not in any Open Space:-

(1) Remove, cut or displace any soil, turf or plant;

(2) pluck any bud, blossom, flower or leaf of any tree, shrub or plant;

(3) Bathe, wade or wash in any ornamental lake, pond, stream or other water: provided that this Byelaw shall not prohibit a child under the age of 12 years from playing in the paddling pool in the Playground;

(4) Wilfully, carelessly or negligently foul or pollute any such water;

(5) Take, injure or destroy or attempt to take, injure or destroy any fish in such water or wilfully disturb or worry any waterfowl;

(6) Wilfully displace or disturb, injure or destroy any bird’s nest or wilfully take, injure or destroy any bird’s egg;

(7) Take, injure or destroy any bird or spread or use any nest or egg or use any snare or other engine, instrument or means for the taking, injury or destruction of any bird.

10. A person shall not in the Open Space:-

(1) erect any post, rail, fence, pole, tent, booth, stand, building or other structure; Provided that this prohibition shall not apply where upon an application to the Corporation they grant permission to erect any post, rail, fence, pole, tent, booth, stand, building or other structure upon such occasion or for such purposes may be specified in the application;

(2) Beat, shake, sweep, brush or cleanse, any carpet, drugget, rug or mat or any other fabric retaining dust or dirt;

(3) Hang, spread or deposit any linen or other fabric for dying or bleaching;

(4) sell, offer or expose for sale, or let for hire, or offer or expose for letting for hire, any commodity or article unless in pursuance of an agreement with the Corporation or otherwise in the exercise of any right or privilege he is authorised to sell or let to hire in the Open Space such commodity or article;

Vehicles; conveyances; invalid carriages

​11. A person shall not except in the exercise of any lawful right or privilege

Bring or cause to be brought into the Open Space any barrow, truck machine, bicycle, tricycle or motor cycle or vehicle other than:-

(1) A wheelchair or perambulator propelled or drawn by hand and used solely for the conveyance of a child or children;

(2) An invalid chair, invalid carriage or like vehicle;

12. A person who brings an invalid chair or invalid carriage or other like vehicle into the Open Space shall not:-

(1) If it is a non-mechanically propelled vehicle, wheel, draw or propel or station it over or upon any part of the Open Space other than on the main paths or other paths in the Open Space;

(2) If it is a mechanically propelled vehicle propel or station it: (a) elsewhere than on the main paths in the Open Space; (b) in such a manner as to cause annoyance or inconvenience to any other person or persons using the Open Space.

Dogs in Highgate Wood

​“13A. Dogs Prohibited from Open Spaces Highgate Wood Only “13A

(1 – 8))

(1)

(a) A person (other than a registered blind person) in charge of a dog shall not, without reasonable excuse, permit the dog to enter or remain in any of the prohibited areas described in Schedule 2 hereafter referred to as “the dog “prohibited areas”.

(b)An officer of the Corporation or any Constable may require a person in charge of a dog which has entered any of the dog prohibited areas to remove the dog there- from.

Removal of Canine Faeces

(2)

(a) Every person (other than a registered blind person) in charge of a dog which is in any of the canine faeces removal areas described in Schedule 3 hereafter referred to as the “canine faeces removal areas” who, without reasonable excuse, fails to remove forthwith from any such areas any faeces deposited by the dog shall be guilty of an offence.

(b) For the purpose of compliance with Byelaw 13A (2) (a) the following provisions shall apply:

(i) It shall be sufficient be a sufficient removal from the canine faeces removal areas if the faeces are deposited in a receptacle within such areas which has been provided for that purpose by the Corporation:

(ii) Without prejudice to generality of the fore-going, it shall not be reasonable excuse that a person in charge of the dog did not have with him any means of removal of the faeces.

Dogs on Leads

(3) A person (other than a registered blind person) in charge of a dog shall not, without reasonable excuse, permit the dog to enter or remain in the sports ground in Highgate Wood unless the dog is held on a lead and is restrained from behaviour likely to give annoyance or disturbance whilst in the sports ground.

Dogs on Leads at Direction

(4) (a) Notwithstanding Byelaws 13A(1) and 13A(3), every person in charge of a dog in Highgate Wood Shall, so far as reasonably practicable, comply with a direction given by a Corporation Officer or Constable to keep the dog on a lead and restrained from behaviour likely to cause annoyance or disturbance whilst in Highgate Wood.

(b) A direction under 13A(4)(a) may only be given if such restraint is reasonably necessary to prevent a nuisance or behaviour by the dog likely to cause annoyance or disturbance to any person in the Highgate Wood or the worrying or disturbance of any animal or bird.

(5) For the purpose of this byelaw the keeper of the dog shall be deemed in charge thereof unless the dog has been placed in or taken into charge of some other person at the time when an offence under Byelaw 13A had been committed.

(6) Byelaws 13A (3) and 13A (4) do not apply to any roads within Highgate Wood for the time being designated under section 27 of the Road Traffic Act 1988.

(7) Byelaws 13A (3) and 13A (4) do not apply in respect of any dogs to which Section 1 of the Dangerous Dogs Act 1991 applies.

(8) Notice of the effect of this Byelaw shall be given by signs placed in conspicuous positions at the entrances of each of the dog prohibited areas and at the entrances or on the approaches to each of the canine faeces removal areas and at the entrance or on the approaches to the sports ground.”

Model aircraft; radio controlled vehicles; livestock

​14. A person shall not:-

(1) Fly any power-driven or electrically or radio controlled model aircraft in the open space;

(2) Operate any power driven go-cart or similar vehicle, or any other power driven or electrically or radio controlled equipment in the Open Space;

(3) Use or operate a metal or mineral detector or nay device locating objects below ground level.

15. A person shall not:-

Except in pursuance of a lawfully written agreement with the Corporation or otherwise in the exercise of any lawful right or privilege, bring or cause to be brought into the Open Space any cattle, sheep, goats, pigs, or any beast of draught or burden.

Playgrounds; games; music

​16. A person who has attained the age of 15 years shall not:-

(1) Use the equipment in the Playground which by a notice affixed or set up on nearby thereto has been set apart for the exclusive use of persons under that age;

(2) Use any equipment in the adventure playground;

17. A person who has attained the age of 16 years shall not:-

(1) Take part in any game in the Open Space involving the use of a ball, except in the area set apart for the use of clubs or associations or individuals for which a fee fixed by the Corporation is payable.

(2) A person shall not in the playground play any ball game whatever.

18. Games (a)

Where the Corporation set apart any such part of the Open Space as may be fixed by the Corporation, and described on a notice board affixed or set up in some conspicuous position in the Open Space, for the purpose of any game specified on the notice board, which, by reason of the rules or manner of playing, or for the prevention of damage, danger or discomfort to any person in the Open Space may necessitate, at any time during the continuance of the game, the exclusive use by the player or players of any space in such part of the Open Space, a person shall not in any space elsewhere in the Open Space play or take part in any game so specified in such manner as to exclude persons not playing or taking part in the game from the use of such space.

19. Games (b)

A person resorting to the Open Space and playing or taking part in any game for which the exclusive use of any part of the Open Space has been set apart shall:-

(1) Not play on the space any game other than the game for which it is set apart;

(2) In preparing for playing and in playing use reasonable care to prevent undue interference with the proper use of the Open Space by other persons;

(3) When the space is already occupied by other players, not begin to play thereon without their permission;

(4) where the exclusive use of the space has been granted by the Corporation for the playing of a match, not play on such space later than a quarter of an hour before the time fixed for the beginning of the match unless he is taking part therein;

(5) Except where the exclusive use of the space has been granted by the Corporation for the playing of a match in which he is taking part, not use the space for a longer time than two hours continuously if any players make known to him a wish to use the space.

20. Games (c)

A person shall not in any part of the Open Space which may have been set apart by the Corporation for any game, play or take part in any game when the state of the ground or other cause makes it unfit for use and a notice is set up in some conspicuous position prohibiting play in that part of the Open Space.

21. Music, a person shall not:-

(1) to the annoyance of any person using the Open Space either separately or as a member of a band play any instrument of music in the Open Space: Provided that this Byelaw shall not be deemed to prohibit the playing of an instrument of music at any function held in the Open Space or in pursuance of an agreement with the Corporation;

(2) In the Open Space operate or cause or suffer to be operated any wireless set, gramophone record, cassette player, C.B. radio, amplifier or similar instrument or cause or suffer to be made any noise which is so loud or continuous or repeated as to give reasonable cause for annoyance to other persons using the Open Space.

Public conveniences

​22. Public Conveniences

Where the Corporation set apart a sanitary convenience in the Open space for use of one sex as indicated by a notice affixed or set up in a conspicuous position near to such sanitary convenience, a person of the opposite sex shall not improperly enter or use such sanitary convenience.

Penalties; removal of offenders; obstruction of officers; savings; offences; legislation

​23. Penalties

Every person who shall offend against any of these Byelaws shall be liable to a fine not exceeding £200.00 and in the case of a continuing offence to daily fine not exceeding £20.00, (this now equates to a level two fine)

24. Removal of offenders

Every person who shall infringe any Byelaw for the regulation of the Open Space may be removed therefrom by an Officer of the Corporation or by any Constable in any one of the several cases hereinafter specified:-

(1) Where the infringement of the Bylaw is committed within the view of such Officer or Constable and the name and residence of the infringing the Byelaw are unknown to and cannot be readily ascertained by such Officer or Constable;

(2) Were the infringement of the Byelaw is committed within the view of such Officer or Constable and from the nature of such infringement or from any other act of which such Officer or Constable may have knowledge, or of which he may be credibly informed, there may be reasonable ground for belief that the continuance in the Open Space of the person infringing the Byelaw may result in another infringement of a Byelaw and that the removal of such person from the Open Space is necessary as a security for the proper use or regulation thereof.

25. Obstruction of officers and other people

A person shall not in the Open Space wilfully obstruct, disturb, interrupt or annoy any other person in the proper use of the Open Space or wilfully obstruct, disturb or interrupt any Officer of the Corporation in the proper execution of his duty or any person or servant of any person employed by the Corporation in the proper execution of any work in the laying out or maintenance of the Open Space.

26. Savings

Nothing in these Byelaws shall take away, abridge or limit any remedy now existing by way of indictment or otherwise or shall interfere with or limit the powers of the Metropolitan Police or of any authority legally existing for preventing or punishing any nuisance.

27. Offences

The doing or attempting to do or allowing any of these acts set out in Byelaws 5 to 22 inclusive in the Open Space is prohibited and shall be deemed to be an offence against the Corporation of London (Open paces) Act 1878 as applied by the Highgate and Kilburn Open Spaces Act 1886.

28. Legislation

All Byelaws for the regulation of the use of Highgate Wood and Queens Park Kilburn, including those made by the Corporation on the 7th June 1979 and approved by the Secretary of State on the 16th January 1980 and those made by the Corporation on 5th August 1983 and approved by the secretary of State on the 27th February 1984 are hereby revoked.


Notifications