bird watching permits FAQs

bird watching permits FAQs


What is the cost of the permit?

The cost for an annual permit is £10. Day permits will no longer be distributed.  


What does the annual permit include?

The permit entitles permit holders to increased access to Walthamstow Wetlands. For example, the site is usually open between 9.30am – 4/5pm whilst the bird watching permit entitles you access to the reservoirs at the following times:


    2nd March – 3rd May: 7am – 7.30pm

    4th May – 26th July: 7am - 10pm

    27th July – 20th Sept: 7am – 9pm

    21st Sept – 18th October: 7am – 7.30pm

    19th October – 28th Feb: 8am – 5pm        

    Closed: Christmas Day and Boxing Day, and reduced to visitor centre hours on New Year’s Day

The permit will also give you access to sensitive wildlife areas which are closed to the general public at certain times of the year to protect the wildlife, breeding grounds and habitats.


Why is there now an application process?

Walthamstow Wetlands is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and a Ramsar wetland designated site of international importance. The site has now been opened to the wider public for the very first time in 150 years. Following the opening, there has been an unprecedented interest in visiting the reserve out of normal visitor centre hours (9:30am - 4/5pm). As a result, the application process allows us to manage the number of people visiting the site out of hours and the number of people with access to sensitive habitats and wildlife areas.


How do you apply for a bird watching permit?

Those that already have bird watching permits for Walthamstow Wetlands, will be able to apply for a permit renewal at a cost of £10. Those wishing to purchase new permits, will need to go through an application process. There are also forms available at the front desk of the Engine House. Successful applicants will be informed in April 2020.


Who will be reviewing the applications and deciding?

The Wetlands team will review all applications and will be granting 50 new permits in total. Numbers are limited to 50 and not all applications will therefore be successful.


When should I apply?

Applications for permit renewals must be submitted by 01/03/20

Applications for new permits must be submitted by 15/03/20


When will you know if your application has been successful?

Successful applicants will be notified in April 2020.


Who should I contact for further details?

Please contact – we will get back to you as quickly as possible.