BIRD watchers will be in for a rare treat in the new year.

Lee Valley Regional Park’s conservation team is inviting wildlife enthusiasts to help track the elusive bittern on Sunday January 20.

The free event will include a guided work through the River Lee Country Park, followed by a roost watch overlooking the Seventy Acres Lake.

The bittern was a delicacy at medieval banquets and became extinct in Britain in 1886, but the reed-dwelling bird began to recolonise the Norfolk broads in 1911.

Conservation officer Dawn Richardson said: “Over the past couple of years we have been carrying out works to enhance the reed beds on Seventy Acres Lake and also to create additional refuge areas for small fish which are the perfect food for bittern and other fish-eating birds.”

Participants should meet at 3.30pm at Fishers Green car park, in Stubbins Hall Lane, Waltham Abbey, and are advised to bring binoculars and wear warm clothes.

Hot drinks and biscuits will be on offer.

  • For more information go to or call 08456 770 600.