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Camden New Journal - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Published: 2 November 2006
The Heath should be enjoyed by everyone

• I RAISED my eyebrows when I read about the newly formed lobby group, Heath for Feet, who want to "preserve the rural and tranquil nature of the Heath". (Keep the Heath feet friendly', Oct 12).
Funny that - as a cyclist I want to do exactly the same.
With today's pollution, green climate issues and global warming, we must encourage cycling.
It is healthy and great exercise - besides, every week we hear more news reports about how we are becoming the fattest country in Europe.
Perhaps older children too should be encouraged to cycle to school with lots of secure cycle racks provided. This would ease school-run traffic.
The Heath should be shared and managed clearly for everyone, including cyclists. I sincerely urge the management to reflect this in their review.
(ex lead singer of Kajagoogoo)
Fellows Rd, NW3

RE Nicole Segre's letter (Heath is big enough for cycles and feet, October 19), in which she seems to suggest cyclists should be allowed to cycle "everywhere".
I quote: "Reckless cyclists should be penalised." How does she suggest this could be enforced when all connected with the powerful cycling lobby and campaigns resist any idea or even discussion of cyclists being identifiable by non-profit making registration, or any other means?
As for walkers and pedestrians being "selfish" I sense a very strong aroma of pot and kettle here, when so many pedestrians are being terrified off the only safe routes now left to them by two-wheeled insurgents.
If cyclists wish to share the pavements, pedestrian crossings etc all they have to do is dismount. I'm in hope of common sense.
Lissenden Gardens, NW5

I WAS delighted to learn of the campaign to save Hampstead Heath from having more cycle tracks, and have added my name with enthusiasm in support of it.
I actually favour a Heath without any cycles.
Let there be slowness on the Heath, people lying, sitting, standing, walking, running, but nothing faster.
And I would ban roller skates, mobile phones and radios, so that there is, on the Heath, a quiet rural, park slowness, far removed in atmosphere, space and time from the nervous city of today, a retreat with respite for the stressed city dweller and worker and the exhausted tourist.
Let there be only talk and laughter and song and silence. And swimming. And kites. And perhaps a corner for smokers. With no cycles to threaten, to menace us. A wonderful feeling of remoteness from here, from now.
Romilly Street, W1

AS one who walks on Hampstead Heath almost every day I feel it has always been a place of rough charm where nature provides the contrast to the hubbub of the city.
This charm and this contrast attract so many of us to walk on the Heath whenever we can.
We tread the same tracks once taken by Hazlitt, Keats and Coleridge, and we pause to gaze on pretty much the same scenes that inspired John Constable.
A recent early morning walk was enhanced by seeing the mist rising from the ponds, a cormorant fending off seven magpies, wild swans flying to the water and ducks meandering here and there as walkers, meandering too and ranging in ages from four to 84, enjoyed these sights and sounds.
The Heath is a rare London oasis of calm and contemplation. It would be wounded by the intrusive bustle of yet more cyclists dashing from A to B.
The Heath is for leisure and not for convenience. More cycle paths mean short cuts for cyclists but death by a thousand cuts for the Heath.
Southwood Lane, N6

Send your letters to: The Letters Editor, Camden New Journal, 40 Camden Road, London, NW1 9DR or email to The deadline for letters is midday Tuesday. The editor regrets that anonymous letters cannot be published, although names and addresses can be withheld. Please include a full name, postal address and telephone number. Letters may be edited for reasons of space.


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