Welcome to Walthamstow Wetlands, a huge, internationally important reserve. Just 15 minutes from central London, and free to visit, you will find a unique haven to explore, enjoy and connect with nature.
The nature reserve is open from 10.30 am - 5 pm every day throughout the summer.
What's on at Walthamstow Wetlands
A calendar of weekly activities, as well as seasonal events, takes place throughout the year to engage with the local community and with those further afield, both in the UK and internationally.
From family-friendly activities to fun-filled activities for adults such as talks, tours and workshops, Walthamstow Wetlands provides a unique setting in the heart of London to learn, discover and explore.
While some events are free, others are ticketed. All proceeds from ticketed events are invested back into the running of Walthamstow Wetlands, the conservation work and continuing free public access to the Wetlands.
Walthamstow Wetlands is a fully operational 211 hectare Thames Water reservoir site which is the main source of water supply for 3.5 million people. Walthamstow Wetlands is also an internationally important nature reserve, providing home and shelter to a wide range of wildlife, from rare waterfowl to majestic birds of prey.
Walthamstow Wetlands is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. It also forms part of the Lee Valley Special Protection Area and is on the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance.
The ten reservoirs offer a haven for overwintering wildfowl, such as pochard and gadwall, and are regionally important for breeding birds such as grey heron, tufted duck and little egret. Swifts visit during the spring and kingfisher and peregrine falcon can be seen all year round.
In addition to birds, Walthamstow Wetlands is home to invertebrates such as damselflies, dragonflies, speckled wood butterflies and thick-kneed beetles, and a number of different species of bats and amphibians.
The Larder runs the Engine House Café situated in the historic and locally-listed Engine House at the newly opened Walthamstow Wetlands. The cafe operates 363 days a year, and offers breakfast, lunch and afternoon tea including freshly made sandwiches, salads and seasonal dishes.
The Walthamstow Wetlands shop offers a carefully selected range of products which are all inspired by the unique nature of Europe’s largest urban wetlands as well as the area’s distinctive industrial heritage. Whether you need a gift for a loved one or a treat for yourself, there is something for everyone.
Latest news and blogs from Wathamstow Wetlands
Activities at Walthamstow Wetlands
We undertake a range of practical conservation activities throughout the year including reedbed management, maintaining hedgerows, and tree care. Regular sessions on weekdays, and alternating Saturdays.
Volunteers can also assist with our outdoor learning activities, and can also support walks and talks on wildlife and heritage, front or house, warden activities and habitat surveying.
Wetlands Contemporary has a public programme of art exhibitions and publications. The exhibitions are hosted in the Engine House as well as across the nature reserve. The installation and sculptural work will play an integral part in engaging audiences with nature and science through a different lens and encouraging visitors to use the space for contemplation.
For those wishing to observe wildlife in the peace and quiet and discover the unique history of the site, the Touchstones Trail offers an opportunity to both enjoy the surroundings and learn more.