Two years since opening its gates for the very first time to the general public, Walthamstow Wetlands has welcomed over 700,000 visitors.

Europe’s largest urban wetland nature is an important haven for wildlife, especially overwintering and migratory birds.

The 211-hectare nature reserve is also a Thames Water operational site supplying 3.5 million people with drinking water.

The site, also London’s largest recreational fishery, opened its gates in 2017 to the wider public for the first time in 150 years.

Cllr Clare Coghill, leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “Two years ago, I was honoured to open Walthamstow Wetlands to the public. Since then, thousands of people have been able to enjoy this natural oasis and see wildlife including the fastest animal on the planet, the peregrine falcon.”

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

One of the wetland reservoirs

The wetlands won the ‘Culture and Heritage Award’ at the London Planning Awards 2019 as well as ‘Best UK and Ireland Tourism Project’ at the British Guild of Travel Writers Awards 2019.

Walthamstow Wetlands is a partnership project between London Wildlife Trust, Thames Water and the London Borough of Waltham Forest.

London Wildlife Trust has worked to manage wildlife populations and the diverse habitats onsite with the aim of increasing biodiversity at Walthamstow Wetlands, one of only 37 designated Sites of Special Scientific Interest in Greater London.

East London and West Essex Guardian Series:

London Wildlife Trust staff have delivered 161 conservation workdays with local volunteers, who have contributed 3,699 hours to the site.

Gordon Scorer, CEO of London Wildlife Trust, said: “Walthamstow Wetlands is a special place for both wildlife and people in London. It has been fantastic to see so many local people get involved in volunteering with London Wildlife Trust on so many different aspects of the nature reserve from volunteering on practical conservation tasks, assisting with outdoor learning sessions to helping visitors experience wildlife on their doorsteps in London.”