The independent London newspaper

Let’s have a dog-free day on the Heath

13 June, 2019

‘I would like to see the Heath have a dog-free day once a week’

• IS Hampstead Heath inclusive? Recent visits have been stressful.

As someone with a mental health condition I often think how my wellbeing improves after a walk across it.

However, the other day I was studying the flowers and the grasses on the south meadow when 17 dogs came towards me with only one person.

Another time, in the same location, a large rubber ball flew past my head by a few feet, followed by a dog running straight for me; and, on another, seven dogs were running wild.

It may come as a surprise to dog owners but not everyone likes dogs. Why is it that only in Kenwood are their two small areas, the flower garden and kitchen garden, where dogs are banned?

I began to observe who was visiting the Heath and last time I didn’t see any people from a BAME heritage. Could this be because of the dogs?

This year is the 30th anniversary of the City of London’s guardianship of the Heath. Maybe it’s time to think about its future.

I would like to see the Heath have a dog-free day once a week and more areas where dogs must be on leads.

Perhaps this would allow more people to be able to enjoy the beautiful Heath and in doing so make it truly an inclusive space.



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