London Natural History Society The place for wildlife in London

London Natural History Society - The place for wildlife in London


Walthamstow wetlands is a complex of ten working Thames Water reservoirs located towards the southern end of the Lea Valley. It is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and has Ramsar status, largely because of its nationally important gathering of moulting Tufted Ducks and the Grey Herony, once the second biggest in the country. Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance that fall under the criteria of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands (see Ramsar Organisation for more information).

In the first four months of 2018 – three months after opening to the public as a London Wildlife Trust nature reserve – it drew visitors from all over the UK because of the flush of rarities that turned up there: starting with Little Bunting in January and ending with Black Kite in April. David Bradshaw’s lively account of this period (from LBR 2018) has been combined with a paper from LBR 2019 by Mathew Frith (of London Wildlife Trust) et al on the challenges they faced and the lessons they learnt after taking over management of the site – promoted as ‘Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve’ – with over 340,000 visitors a year!