Site updates

Site updates

Walthamstow Wetlands is a Thames Water operational site which serves 3.5 million people with drinking water. To ensure clean and safe drinking water, there will be times when maintenance works will need to be carried out onsite. To keep visitors safe, these works will occasionally affect the access to Walthamstow Wetlands and the various activities allowed onsite and there will be occasions when areas of the site will need to be closed. Whilst operational work is taking place onsite, we kindly ask visitors to take care and avoid entering the affected area.

Below you will find details on upcoming operational works that will be taking place at Walthamstow Wetlands. Please note, these dates are subject to change and we would ask all visitors to check back to this page for the most up to date information.



In these challenging times, we are endeavouring to keep the nature reserve open.

Following the government’s updated guidelines on COVID-19 on Sunday 10th May, please review the following site rules before visiting Walthamstow Wetlands:

  • Walthamstow Wetlands is now open between 10.30am – 5pm daily. On weekends and bank holidays, last entry is at 4.30pm.
  • No dogs are allowed on site – even the best behaved dogs can frighten wildlife and disrupt habitats
  • No alcohol is allowed at Walthamstow Wetlands which is a Thames Water operational site as well as a nature reserve
  • No paddling, swimming, or sitting near water's edge
  • Please keep your distance from other visitors and event attendees
  • Angling for seasonal permit holders is now allowed onsite. Angling opening times are 7am – 10pm. All anglers must carry their seasonal permits on them at all times – otherwise they will be asked to leave the site. For more information on angling, please speak with the Thames Water Fisheries Rangers. Please also refer to:
  • Birdwatching is now allowed onsite. Those with annual birdwatching permits will be able to access the site between 7am – 10pm and will also be able to access restricted areas. Anyone accessing these restricted areas must carry their annual birdwatching permits on them at all times – otherwise they will be asked to leave the site.
  • The Engine House, including cafe and shop, and the Coppermill Tower remain closed until further notice.
  • Please note there are no toilet facilities on site.
  • The carpark remains closed until further notice except for Blue Badge holders.
  • Please comply with social distancing guidelines at all times and stay 2m away from other visitors
  • No BBQs are permitted onsite to avoid the risk of fire
  • Do not approach the water nor swim or paddle - these working reservoirs are full of hidden dangers and the water is cold and deep
  • Please take your litter home (or use the bins at each exit) - even the smallest piece of litter spoils other people’s enjoyment of this very special place and can harm wildlife
  • For more information on site rules, please click here:

Please note that these arrangements may change without notice. Please check our website before your visit

Sign up to our e-newsletter to get the latest COVID19 information from Waltham Forest Council


Water safety onsite - no paddling, swimming, or sitting near water's edge

The water is deep and extremely cold just below the surface, even on a hot day at Walthamstow Wetlands. These working reservoirs are full of hidden dangers, including strong currents caused by the need to pump water around.  So paddling, swimming or diving and the use of boats is not allowed in any of the reservoirs.  The banks are steep and slippery and, however tempting it may be to get closer, for your own protection you must keep away from the water at all times. For more information on water safety, please visit the Thames Water website.


Walthamstow Wetlands events and school activities are cancelled/postponed

Following new government guidance on social distancing we have taken the decision to cancel all events at Walthamstow Wetlands for at least two months.

This includes:

  • Mindful Walk on Saturday 21st March – postponed until Saturday 20th June
  • Wild Weekend: Water on Sunday 22nd March
  • Natural Balm Making on Sunday 22nd March
  • Under 5s: Spring on Monday 23rd March
  • Dried Flower Arranging Workshop on Thursday 26th March - postponed until Thursday 9th July
  • Open Afternoon on Sunday 29th March
  • Under 5s: Blossom on Monday 30th March
  • Wild Weekend: Spring on Sunday 5th April
  • Welcome to the Jungle Exhibition on between 5th – 30th April
  • Private View for Jungle Exhibition on Sunday 5th April
  • Easter Egg Hunt between 10-12th April
  • Wildlife Photography Workshop on Saturday 18th April – postponed until Saturday 20th June
  • Spring Migration Workshop on Sunday
  • Quekett Club Microscopic Event
  • Dr Bike
  • Our Earth Body

The London Wildlife Trust schools programme will also be suspended until further notice. If you are the organiser of a school visit or workshop, please get in touch with Fiona McGain at to discuss further.

We know this will be deeply disappointing for ticketholders and event organisers – thank you for your patience and understanding at this difficult time. We have rescheduled some of the events already for later in the year and will do our utmost to reschedule the remaining ones too. Please keep checking the Wetlands’ social media and websites for news of rescheduled events.

If you have bought a ticket to a cancelled event you can choose to donate the cost of your ticket or request a refund via Eventbrite. Alternatively if you are able to attend the alternative date given for Mindful Walking or Wildlife Photography, please do let us know on and we will reserve your place.

As the situation is changing daily we will continue to update our response across social media and our website.


Volunteering activities cancelled

Following new government guidance on social distancing, London Wildlife Trust have suspended all volunteering activities at Walthamstow Wetlands for the foreseeable future.

We realise this will be disappointing news for many of our dedicated volunteers and it was a difficult decision to make, however it is of the utmost importance that any risk to volunteers is minimised. Please do keep checking the Wetlands’ social media and websites for further updates.


Bird hides closed

Both the Richard Woolley Bird Hide and the East Warwick Bird Hide are closed to visitors during the current nationwide outbreak of covid-19 Coronavirus. We thank you for your understanding during this difficult time. 



As a nature reserve, we have to occasionally limit access to certain areas to protect nesting birds or special wildlife habitats. Please stay on the marked paths and trails and look out for signs - they are there to protect both you and the wildlife.

The 4/5 path is closed to the public between August and March to minimise disturbance to ground nesting birds. Please respect the wildlife on site - do not go through closed gates.