Back to reserve map

Spencer Road Wetlands

A small secluded wetland.

This small reserve stands on the eastern River Wandle floodplain near Hackbridge, and owes its modern existence to the cessation of watercress production.

From at least 1895 to around 1959, it was subjected to controlled flooding for the commercial production of watercress – a feature of the locality (and from which nearby Carshalton gets its name).

After this industry collapsed, the site was left unmanaged allowing for natural colonisation by willow woodland until 1989 - when Sutton Conservation Volunteers began working on the site in order to encourage the regeneration of fen vegetation and other wetland habitats.

They enabled the Trust to secure a licence to manage the site from 1991.

The reserve will play an important role in the Trust's future plans for the Wandle Valley, and our aspirations for securing key biodiversity gains throughout the catchment.


Spencer Road Wetland supports semi-natural wet woodland habitats that are considered to be typical of those which might naturally occur alongside the Wandle.

The main habitats are reed swamp with mixed wetland vegetation, willow carr woodland, a sedge-bed, pond, and mixed broadleaf woodland.

The range and diversity of wetland vegetation types at the site remains high in comparison with other similar sites in the Greater London area.

Species you might spot

Angelica, greater pond sedge, blackcurrant, redcurranttwin-spotted wainscot moth, crescent moth; grey heron, reed warbler, kingfisher, grey wagtail.

If you spot these or any other species, please report your wildlife sightings to Greenspace Information for Greater London (GiGLto help build a picture of London's nature!


Spencer Road Wetlands has no public access.

Site status

Spencer Road Wetland is part of a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation, a Local Nature Reserve, and has been identified as a Site of Wildlife Value in Sutton's Local Plan.

Species and habitats


Nearby nature reserves

Wilderness Island
1 miles - London Wildlife Trust
Howell Hill
4 miles - Surrey Wildlife Trust
Farm Bog
4 miles - London Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Spencer road, Beddington Corner
Greater London
Map reference
Best time to visit
Apr - Jul
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Local Nature Reserve (LNR)
Spencer Road Wetlands has limited public access.
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
London Wildlife Trust
Tel: 020 7261 0447