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Walthamstow Wetlands

Looking south from Tottenham Hale across the reservoirs, 1933 - Britain from above (http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/epw042080)

Walthamstow Wetlands

Walthamstow Reservoirs extend across some 200 hectares including more than 120 hectares of water bodies.The reservoirs are owned and operated by Thames Water.

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The reservoirs are of national and international importance to breeding, migratory and wintering waterbirds.

Thereservoirs form part of a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).The SSSI supports a wide variety of fish, birds and waterfowl, including migratory species. In particular they provide a habitat for a colony of herons, which have bred atthe reservoirs since 1928.There are up to 100 pairs of herons nesting on the islands each spring and summer, making it the largest heronry in London.

The Reservoirs are a designated Special ProtectionArea (SPA)under the EU Birds Directive due to their importance for the wintering ducks Gadwall and Shoveler.The reservoirsare also a Ramsar site (The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance).

The Reservoirs form part of a larger Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation, for the mixture of aquatic and terrestrial habitats they provide, and for their London-wide importance (especially for birds).

The Lea Valley is one of the few byways for migrating, wintering and breeding birds in the Greater London area, and as such acts as a ‘funnel’, refueling site and safe haven for hundreds of thousands of birds. The Valley consists of an almost unbroken chain of greenspaces, including woodland, marsh, wetland and reservoirs from its source to the Thames.This corridor remains open for a range of wild animals and plants which would otherwise struggle to penetrate or thrive within such a landscape.

'Walthamstow Wetlands' is the title of a development strategy for the reservoirs that will provide improved access and connections through the area, biodiversity enhancements, an interpretation and advice centre, a cafe, and possibly also a ticketed visitor attraction.

The partnership progressing the Wetlands schemewas awarded 288,000 Heritage Lottery Funding in May 2013 to fund development of detailed plans. A 3.5m second stage Heritage Lottery funding bid will then be submitted, backed by an offer of 1.5m match funding from Thames Water.

Explore the boundaries of the Ramsar designation and the SSSI on the Government's 'Magic' Portal.

Explore image ofWalthamstow Wetlands

A view of theMarine Engine House, which will be converted into a visitor and interpretation centre for the Walthamstow Wetlands.

Sources

http://magic.defra.gov.uk/MagicMap.aspx?layers=Designations,31&box=532421:187004:538061:189823

http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/Documents/walthamstow-reservoir-feasibility-study.pdf

http://newhamstory.com/node/2423

http://www.britishdams.org/2004conf/papers/peck.pdf

http://www.walthamforest.gov.uk/Documents/walthamstow-reservoris-so-near-and-yet-so-far.pdf

http://www.sssi.naturalengland.org.uk/special/sssi/unitlist.cfm?sssi_id=1004304

http://www.ramsar.org/cda/en/ramsar-home/main/ramsar/1_4000_0__


leabridge.org.uk December 2012
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