Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve opens in Walthamstow

Ducks take a dip in London's 'best-kept secret', Walthamstow Wetlands Credit: Waltham Forest Council
Dubbed London’s ‘best kept secret’ by the Mayor of London in 2012, Walthamstow Wetlands opens following a £4.47million National Lottery grant.

The operational reservoir complex, which has been 10 years in the making, is now fully accessible to both walkers and families. The Grade II listed Coppermill Tower in the Wetlands now provides a platform from which both the calm of Wetlands and the bustling, urban City of London can be viewed.

Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London, said: “It is tremendously exciting to see Walthamstow Wetlands open to the public as the largest urban wetland nature reserve in London.”

“It is tremendously exciting to see Walthamstow Wetlands open to the public as the largest urban wetland nature reserve in London.”Stuart Hobley, Head of HLF London

“The project not only protects the site’s nationally important biodiversity, but also showcases a great testament to Victorian architecture in the Walthamstow Reservoirs, which date back to 1863. Thanks to National Lottery players, Londoners will be able to experience the broad range of fascinating heritage on their doorstep in a beautiful setting.”

The 10 reservoirs, part of the wider 211 hectare site, are an internationally-important refuge for waterbirds such as pochard, shoveler and gadwall, and provide an important stopover for migrating birds. Thousands of wildlife species from Kingfishers to Peregrine Falcons can be seen in the wetlands, which is also home to the largest heronry in London.

A Site of Special Scientific Interest

Wildlife enthusiasts and those seeking a calm and tranquil setting outside the city can now visit the site, which is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), by travelling just 15 minutes from central London.

Thousands of wildlife species can be seen in the wetlands, from Kingfishers to Peregrine Falcons. 

Now open

Opening today, and fully accessible to all, the Walthamstow Wetlands will be holding weekly activities as well as seasonal events throughout the year, to welcome families and wildlife fans, anglers and birders from across the capital to the new site. 

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