The heath is home to the most amazing selection of trees. You have already seen a number of them on this blog and I am sure will see many more. although, I am ashamed to say, that I do not know what most of them are….
This beauty, with a crow perched on its topmost branches, is down by the Ladies’ Pool.
Not that, as the name implies, there should really be that many trees on the heath at all. Way back, when the heath first became popular as a place to which Londoners could escape for some weekend fresh air and fun, the upper area around Spaniard’s Road, was just that – open heath land – as you can see in this Constable painting from the early 19th century.
I have been learning how it came to get covered in trees – and indeed how the whole of what we now know as Hampstead Heath came to be preserved for us all to enjoy – from the most fascinating book by Helen Lawrence, How Hampstead Heath was saved – a story of people power. The book is now sadly out of print but hopefully, not for long as the Camden History Society is being actively canvassed to print a second edition. Meanwhile, some other nuggets in a future blog.
But while the subject of how many trees there should be on the heath – and what views they should or should not block – remains up for discussion – no one can dispute that many of the trees that are there are magnificent. My own feeling is that they look best in winter or spring before they come into leaf, so here are a two more from a couple of weeks ago.
This one is just inside the Kenwood estate – you can just see the house in the background –
…and I honestly don’t remember where I found this one, late one evening.
In fact I am now compiling a library of tree pictures for you – imposing trees, climbing trees, flowering trees, dead but really interesting trees (lots of those as current management policy seems to be to leave fallen trees where they lie) and no doubt many other classifications that I have not yet thought of!!
Meanwhile, an evening walk through one of the more crowded tree-scapes.
(If you want to see the video you will need to click onto the blog as the email notification does not include the video.)
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