Forum tests quality of Hampstead's air

The Hampstead Neighbourhood Forum's project to test air quality got under way with the installation of the first diffusion tubes on 27 September 2021.

Working in partnership with Green School Runs, the Heath & Hampstead Society, and the borough of Camden, we are gathering new data on levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) in ten locations. We will compare the results with those of a similar project in 2015.  monitor-locations.png

The locations of the tubes can be seen on the map. See a larger version of the map here.

Volunteers are installing the diffusion tubes and will monitor measurements over the next 12 months. If you are interested in helping, please email us at [email protected]We will provide training.

We are delighted that pupils from three local schools are among our volunteers: Devonshire House, Maria Montessori School and UCS Junior Branch. Each group of children will be responsible for the tubes close to their school. They will be involved in installing and changing the tubes, analysis and follow-up.

We thank all the volunteers very much for their help.

The project leaders are Katharina Schauer and Francesca Agostini. They can both be contacted at [email protected].

Updates and information on our findings will be posted on this page. 

Our team are being advised by Camden’s air quality officer. The readings will be reference quality, fit to stand with Camden’s official figures. We will be able to tell whether we are on track to get inside WHO-recommended limits by 2030, or if more action is needed. 

The level of NO2 that we found in 2015 was surprisingly high for leafy Hampstead and inspired some of the policies in the Hampstead Neighbourhood Plan, which was approved by residents in a public referendum in 2018.

As well as volunteers, we are looking for funding to add to the donations that we have already received. We thank the Heath & Hampstead Society, as well as other donors, for their generous support. We need a total of £2,000 to buy, mount and process the diffusion tubes. The Forum relies entirely on donations to fund all its activities.

We are also seeking funding to extend this project into monitoring the level of particulates - the dangerous microscopic particles that drift from car brakes and tyres into lungs and arteries. Everyone knows that Hampstead’s air is polluted by the school run, but no one knows by how much – nor how much Camden‘s Healthy School Streets programme is helping. The aim will be to build an hour-by-hour particulates profile near each school in the Forum area.

Static particulate monitors are expensive, but £5,000 will buy a monitor that produces “near-reference” quality readings on which Camden can base policy. The readings will either demonstrate that all is well, or will provide a factual basis for action. 

We hope that you will consider helping to support this important work. Please click HERE to do so. 



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  • Alex Nicoll
    published this page in Projects 2021-01-11 12:12:03 +0000