There are now 7 boards on the Heath and at Kenwood which aim to raise awareness of the Heath’s biodiversity as part of an initiative by the Heath & Hampstead Society and the City Corporation. Check out the biodiversity page on The Heath & Hampstead Society website.
Contact: Catharine Wells, email@example.com
Everyone who lives and works in the DPNF area is a member of our neighbourhood forum.
We can all play our part in preserving and enhancing the semi-rural nature of the many streets and estates which provide the green corridors of trees, hedging, private and estate gardens linking the Heath, Highgate Cemetery, Waterlow Park and Dartmouth Park. Holly Village, created in the nineteenth century by Baroness Angela Burdett-Coutts, remains a heritage asset with picturesque houses grouped around a leafy private garden, surrounded by lattice fencing, dense holly hedges and huge conservation-listed trees.
All these are key to maintaining and increasing biodiversity* in our area, as well as ensuring that it continues to be a special place to live and work in, and to visit.
Check out the DPNF Plan to see what people have said they like about our green spaces, and what they would like to see improved.
* Collins English Dictionary defines biodiversity as the existence of a wide variety of plant and animal species in their natural environments, which is the aim of conservationists concerned about the destruction of rainforests and other habitats.
What can we do and where to begin?
Trees: we can plant more of the right trees in the right places. Walk around your area using this handy app www.treetalk.co.uk/ to identify different trees, and also note street trees that need watering or are damaged, as well as empty tree pits.
To find out about Camden trees in streets, on estates and in green and public open spaces, visit www.camden.gov.uk/trees. Their ‘Statistics’ tab provides fascinating facts about tree species and tree age, and also tells us that Highgate Ward has the highest level of tree canopy cover in the borough after Hampstead. Camden’s tree team can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Flowers in street tree pits: you can volunteer to improve tree pits in your street with annual flowers. Spring bulbs and annual wildflowers are a boon for insects, improve the streetscape for everyone, and even help you to get to know your neighbours (see above link to Camden street trees for information). They advise tying a green ribbon around the tree trunk where flowers have been planted in the tree pit to let street cleaners, weed eradication personnel and tree surgeons know that flowers have been planted.
Camden is reviewing its current Biodiversity Action Plan and want to hear from you: “Camden would like your input on any areas, including ideas for greening the built environment and opportunities for access and education – anything within the Borough related to nature, natural spaces, and opportunities to protect, increase and enjoy it. Give us your ideas, or just share with us what is important to you about Camden’s wildlife and green spaces, on the map. What you tell us will inform Camden’s Biodiversity Action Plan and ensure that our wildlife thrives well into the future.”
Hedges provide an important habitat and corridor for wildlife, especially in our built-up areas and streets. The DPNF is fortunate to have a number of streets and estates with the original hedging, in particular Holly Village and the ‘Homes for Heroes’ and Brookfield estate built after WW1. Residents have expressed a strong interest in helping to maintain existing hedging and in restoring lost sections, to recreate a ribbon of green (contact DPNF to support this initiative).
Front gardens are of huge benefit to neighbours, to wildlife and to every passer-by, which is why the DPNF supports the greening of paved areas currently given over to car parking.
Greening our four shopping hubs: all our DPNF consultation and engagement confirmed that people would welcome more greening and softening of the areas near our well used and highly valued shopping and community hubs in Swain’s Lane, Chester Road, York Rise and Highgate Road. Large tub planting for small trees or shrubs, outdoor seating with planting, and raised beds have all been suggested. The DPNF would like to hear your ideas.
What has the greening project group been doing? We have already and continue to organise walkabouts on estates and streets in the DPNF area, with local residents, to identify places which might benefit from council support and/or community engagement, to add trees, shrubs, green areas, parklets and other measures to improve our environment for everyone.
The DPNF Greening Group is working closely with Heath Hands to improve biodiversity corridors between the Heath and the Forum area as well as providing more information and opportunities for community engagement. This year’s celebrations mark the 150th anniversary of the Hampstead Heath Act 1871. Follow this link to find out more: https://www.heathandhampstead.org.uk/heath/biodiversity/