The Walthamstow Wetland project focusses on opening the Walthamstow Reservoirs to wider public access, allowing visitors to enjoy and learn about the site’s distinctive built and natural heritage.
This distinctive nature stems from the site’s importance as a historic operational landscape that supplies drinking water to London, and its rich biodiversity that is of international importance for attracting a large number of water birds.
The nature conservation value, industrial heritage, operational functionality and distinctive landscape character of Walthamstow Reservoirs is unique in London. The Walthamstow Wetland project aims to profile and conserve this hidden heritage and enable more people to access and appreciate it.
The Walthamstow Reservoirs consist of ten operational drinking water reservoirs which are owned and managed by Thames Water. The reservoirs were built over seventy years, growing in scale and height as the needs of the City Of London grew. The water bodies are a mix of statutory (raised) reservoirs and non statutory (in ground) reservoirs. The site contains a range of habitats and experiences, from sheltered dense scrub lined banks to wide windswept views towards the City.
The two buildings on the southern site, the Victorian Marine Engine house pumping station and the Coppermill building are relics of the site’s evolution, with only parts of the Coppermill building still in operation use.
The overarching aim of this project is to create a distinctive urban nature reserve, which is accessible to people. Increased access points and recreational activities will open up this interesting and unique site to local residents and visitors further afield to experience the rich site heritage.