Walthamstow Wetlands, Europe’s largest urban wetlands nature reserve, has won in the People’s Choice category at the annual New London Architecture Awards (NLA).
Voted by the general public, the Wetlands received an overwhelming number of votes and beat projects including London Bridge Station to claim first place.
The judges praised Walthamstow Wetlands as “a project that conserves and enhances the natural and built heritage, maintaining the distinctive character of the place.”
Junior Cabinet Member for Borough of Culture, Cllr Paul Douglas said, “It’s a great honour to win this People’s Choice award. This award shows just how popular the Wetlands have become since opening last year. Residents and visitors have really embraced this wonderful open space!
“I’d like to congratulate the architecture and design teams that worked on this project for their outstanding work on the Wetlands project. It really was an incredible group effort. This is the second award we’ve received this year. I have no doubt there will be many more awards for this unique urban oasis.
“Located just 15 minutes away from central London, we are so very fortunate to have this incredible space right on our doorstep, free for everyone to enjoy. As a frequent visitor myself, I strongly encourage everyone to take full advantage of this stunning urban greenspace.”
Walthamstow Wetlands nature reserve opened in October 2017 – it marked the very first time the wider public was given access to the site in 150 years. The Wetlands is also a Thames Water operational site supplying 3.5 million people with drinking water. Working in partnership with Waltham Forest Council and Thames Water, London Wildlife Trust is delivering community engagement activities, volunteering opportunities and conservation work.
The transformation of the area was possible due to £10.6m of funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund, Thames Water and the Council and includes the laying of reed beds and walkways and the conversion of two historic buildings into a visitor centre, café, education space and viewing platform.
The Wetlands are a special home for wildlife both resident and rare. The reservoirs that make up the Wetlands are nationally recognised as a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest and fast becoming a hub for wildlife enthusiasts and those wishing to connect with nature in the city.
The award was picked up by Waltham Forest Council’s Lucy Shomali, Director of Regeneration & Growth and Martha Lawson, Regeneration Project Manager along with Rose Jaijee, Wetlands Programme Manager, William Mann from Witherford Watson and Mann Architects and Lynne Kinnear from Kinnear Landscape Architects.
Walthamstow Wetlands is free to enter and open 363 days a year. For further information visit walthamstowwetlands.com