Work to restore Hampstead Heath after damage caused by a huge rise in visitors during the COVID lockdown has begun.
Whilst the Heath has provided a lifeline to many during the pandemic, the site has suffered from disturbed wildlife habitats, trampled grass, soil compaction and eroded paths.
The wet weather over winter worsened the problem. Now the City of London Corporation, which protects the Heath, has started the first phase of ground restoration work.
New fencing is being installed to protect veteran trees and areas of grassland are being reseeded.
And new hedging is being planted to protect path edges and to encourage natural regeneration, which will provide new habitats and boost biodiversity at the site.
The recent wet, warm, weather has helped the grass to establish and several areas that were closed due to damage have now reopened. The restoration programme will continue until the Autumn.
Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Hampstead Heath Management Committee, Anne Fairweather, said: “I was delighted to see so many people enjoying Hampstead Heath during the lockdown but the rise in visitors gave us some challenges.
“Our teams are working hard to restore wildlife habitats, grassed areas and damaged paths and we can already see some sites recovering.”