After 10 years of behind the scenes development, Walthastow Wetlands finally opened to the public in October 2017, offering up 520 acres of prime wetland reserves. It’s less than a 10 minute stroll from Tottneham Hale station (and 15 mins from central London), but feels a world away – an amazing example of the suprising biodiversity London has to offer. In addition to being one of the best places to spot wildlife in London, there’s 13 miles of footpath to roam and a cycle track connecting this reserve up with Woodberry Wetlands down by Manor House.
The Grade-II listed Coppermill Tower has been refurbished now has a viewing point offering visitors spectacular panoramic views across the Lee Valley, east to the Olympic Park and west into the central London. The old Marine Engine House has been converted into a visitor centre with a cafe and exhibition space. There’s even a unique swift tower to house nesting birds and roosting bats.
There are also lots of family-friendly activities, which you can find out more about here.
A designated Site of Special Scientific Interest, Walthamstow Wetlands’ position in the Lee Valley makes it a hugely important habitat for the area’s wildlife – particularly the bird population. It’s home to the region’s largest heronry, cormorants and wintering populations of pochard, shoveler and gadwalls. The site also forms part of the Lee Valley Special Protection Area (SPA) and is a Ramsar designated site of international importance. The wetlands are managed in partnership with London Wildlife Trust – a charity dedicated to preserving London’s biodiversity and natural spaces.
The Visitor Centre, guided tours / walks and the self-guided Touchstone Trail offer vital educational services, teaching people of all ages about the rich history of Walthamstow Wetlands, the wildlife and the area’s industrial past. The Touchstone walks
Interested in volutneering? Find out more here.
Here’s what they said
“Welcome to Walthamstow Wetlands, a new nature reserve now open to the public. Just 15 minutes from central London, you will find a unique haven to explore, enjoy and connect with your better nature.
Walthamstow Wetlands is a 211 hectare operational Thames Water site which has been designed to give you an unforgettable experience getting close to nature. With activities for all ages and interests, it provides a great day out come rain or shine.