Site updates at Walthamstow Wetlands

Site updates at Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Wetlands Engine House view credit Iain Green 

Walthamstow Wetlands is a Thames Water operational site that serves 3.5 million people with drinking water. To ensure clean and safe drinking water, there will be times when maintenance works will need to be carried out on site. To keep visitors safe, these works will occasionally affect the access to Walthamstow Wetlands and the various activities allowed onsite and there will be occasions when areas of the site will need to be closed. Whilst operational work is taking place onsite, we kindly ask visitors to take care and avoid entering the affected area.

Below you will find details on upcoming operational works that will be taking place at Walthamstow Wetlands. Please note, these dates are subject to change and we would ask all visitors to check back to this page for the most up to date information.



In these challenging times, we are endeavouring to keep the nature reserve open.

Following the government’s updated national restrictions guidelines on COVID-19 on 17th May 2021, please review the following site rules and information before visiting Walthamstow Wetlands:

  • Walthamstow Wetlands will remain open between 9.30am – 4pm daily. On weekends and bank holidays, the last entry is at 3.30pm. 
  • The Engine House visitor centre will close 15 minutes before the site closing time. No access to toilet facilities after this time.
  • Please follow the guidance on meeting others safely when onsite. 
  • No dogs are allowed on site – even the best-behaved dogs can frighten wildlife and disrupt habitats.
  • No alcohol is allowed at Walthamstow Wetlands as it is a Thames Water operational site as well as a nature reserve.
  • No paddling, swimming or sitting near water's edge.
  • The Engine House Visitor centre and toilets are open. Please note the building closes 15 minutes before the site shuts to allow staff to clear the site of visitors
  • The car park is open to the public from 9.30am. Parking for blue badge holders is free. 
  • The Coppermill Tower is open. 
  • The Larder Cafe at The Engine House will remain open from9:30 - 3:45pm, with seating available inside and out on the rear terrace. Takeaway only from 3:30 -3:45.
  • No BBQs are permitted onsite to avoid the risk of fire.
  • Do not approach the water, nor swim or paddle - these working reservoirs are full of hidden dangers and the water is cold and deep.
  • Please take your litter home (or use the bins at each exit) - even the smallest piece of litter spoils other people’s enjoyment of this very special place and can harm wildlife.
  • Angling is now permitted on site, both for day and seasonal permit holders. 
  • Birdwatching is now permitted on site. We’re pleased to welcome back our birdwatching permit holders.
  • East Warwick Reservoir Path Closure. Due to Thames Water carrying out essential maintenance on the path along the side of the East Warwick reservoir, this will be closed to public access until further notice. 

Our Outdoor Learning sessions are now being delivered. Please visit this page for more information or to book a session for your school.

Our family learning events have recommenced. Please visit this page for more information.

Walthamstow Wetlands public events are now taking place. Please visit this page for more information.

Water safety onsite - no paddling, swimming, or sitting near water's edge

The water is deep and extremely cold just below the surface, even on a hot day at Walthamstow Wetlands. These working reservoirs are full of hidden dangers, including strong currents caused by the need to pump water around.  So paddling, swimming or diving and the use of boats is not allowed in any of the reservoirs.  The banks are steep and slippery and, however tempting it may be to get closer, for your own protection you must keep away from the water at all times. For more information on water safety, please visit the Thames Water website.

Bird hides closed

Both the Richard Woolley Bird Hide and the East Warwick Bird Hide are closed to visitors during the current nationwide outbreak of covid-19 Coronavirus. We thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. 

Seasonal gate closures

As a nature reserve, we occasionally have to limit access to certain areas to protect nesting birds or special wildlife habitats. Please stay on the marked paths and trails and look out for signs - they are there to protect both you and the wildlife.

The 4/5 path is closed to the public between August and March to minimise disturbance to post-breeding moulting ducks. Please respect the wildlife on site - do not go through closed gates.