A working reservoir in Manor House, closed to the public for almost 200 years, is now a beautiful urban wetland nature reserve
Woodberry Wetlands was opened by Sir David Attenborough in 2016, having previously been known as Stoke Newington East Reservoir. The wetlands are the result of a proposal by the Trust to enhance the reservoir for wildlife and open it up so people can access a high quality, natural space in a densely built-up environment.
The nature reserve is now a thriving habitat for migratory birds and is one of the Trust’s top visitor attractions. Hedgerows and wildflowers line the banks of the reservoir, while newly-created reedbed extensions provide a wetland haven for waterfowl.
For more information about Woodberry Wetlands visit the dedicated website: www.woodberrywetlands.org.uk
Species you can see at Woodberry Wetlands
History of Woodberry Wetlands
The New River is an artificial waterway built in 1613 to bring clean water into London. Stoke Newington East and West Reservoirs were built in 1833 to hold water from the New River and supply drinking water for new homes in the area.
From 1955 chlorine and sodium phosphate gas treatments to ‘purify’ the water in the reservoirs made the site hostile to wildlife. These treatments ceased by the 1980s and nature began to thrive. Proposals to fill in the East Reservoir and New River for development in the late 1980s led to the successful Save the Reservoirs Campaign, which the Trust supported.
The Wetlands vision, which grew from the Trust’s management of a community garden next to the East Reservoir starting in 2007, saw the East Reservoir transformed and opened to the public in 2016.
Management of Woodberry Wetlands
Woodberry Wetlands is managed with the help of a volunteering team who maintain reedbeds, grassland and hedgerows through regular conservation volunteering workdays. A programme of wildlife monitoring and surveys is also undertaken.
Facilities at Woodberry Wetlands
A boardwalk from the west entrance leads visitors to the Coal House Café, where a roof terrace provides excellent views over the nature reserve. At the northern entrance the New River Studio provides classroom facilities. There are disabled toilets at both locations.
Change of management: the Coal House Café is closed 24th-30th April 2017 for redecoration and cleaning. After this date, the cafe will be managed directly by the Trust. We would like to thank Lizzy, and her staff team, for providing an excellent service and delicious food during our first year, and we'd like to wish Lizzy all the best for her future ventures. An in-house operation will allow us to fully integrate the café into every part of our day-to-day management of the reserve, utilising the Coal House as a café, for natural and industrial heritage events and for private hire, with a single Trust team responsible for all. All surpluses made will contribute to making Woodberry Wetlands financially self-sufficient, contributing to the protection of wildlife across the nature reserve.
How to get to Woodberry Wetlands
There are two entrances, one on the New River Path from Lordship Road and one at Newnton Close. Manor House Underground Station (Piccadilly line) is a five-minute walk from the west entrance and Stamford Hill station a five-minute walk from the northern entrance. Buses 253, 254, 259, and 279 stop in nearby Seven Sisters Road.
Opening times for Woodberry Wetlands
There is year-round free admission to the site all week, 9am-4.30pm. In winter the site closes earlier at 4pm.
During 2017 there are some planned closures of the reserve, on the following dates:
- Saturday 22nd April
- Saturday 13th May
- Sunday 28th May
- Saturday 1st July
- Saturday 5th August
- Friday 1st September
We apologise for any inconvenience caused.
Accessibility at Woodberry Wetlands
Access is level into the reserve, with no steep gradients on the main wheelchair-accessible path that leads from the main entrance to the Coal House, and then on to the New River Studio. Seating is provided at various points around the route. Disabled parking bays are available outside each entrance.
Status of Woodberry Wetlands
Part of a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation
Get involved at Woodberry Wetlands
- Volunteer with Woodberry Wetlands's team
- Record species you've spotted at Woodberry Wetlands
- Take part in Woodberry Wetlands's events
- Book a school trip to Woodberry Wetlands
Woodberry Wetlands social media
Species and habitats
- Shoveler, Shelduck, Water Rail, Kingfisher, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Song Thrush, Reed Warbler, Cetti's Warbler, Reed Bunting, Bittern, Red-eyed Damselfly, Large Yellow Underwing, Holly Blue, Daubenton's bat, Noctule Bat, Common Pipistrelle, Red Fox, Smooth Newt, Common Frog, Common Toad, Hawthorn, Yorkshire Fog, Perennial Rye-grass, Meadow Vetchling, Bird's-foot-trefoil