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 Monday 14 September, please review the following site rules before visiting Walthamstow Wetlands:

  • Walthamstow Wetlands is now open between 10.30am – 4pm daily. On weekends and bank holidays, last entry is at 3.30pm.
  • 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 when indoors and outdoors
  • Please ensure you are socialising in groups of 6 or less 
  • Angling for seasonal permit holders is now allowed onsite. Angling opening times are 7am – 7:30pm. 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 – 7:30pm 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 has re-opened for access to the gift shop and toilets from 10:30am - 3:30pm. We're operating the NHS Test & Trace system within the building, so you will need to check in on arrival, using either the NHS Covid-19 App or by providing you name and contact number to a member of the reception staff.
  • Please wear a face covering at all times when inside the Engine House to protect others (especially our staff).
  • The carpark is now open. Please use the pay-on-foot machine in the carpark when paying for your parking (card only). 
  • The Coppermill Tower remains closed until further notice.
  • The World's Larder cafe is open from 10:30 - 3:30pm, serving from the terrace located at the rear of the building. There is limited seating available indoors and outdoors on the terrace. 
  • 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


Walthamstow Wetlands school activities are running as usual

London Wildlife Trust school visits are available throughout the school year. Please get in touch with Fiona McGain at to book a session or discuss further, including how we have made our sessions Covid-19 secure. 

Our family learning events will be restarting soon. Booking will be essential for these sessions. Please check back for updates. 


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 recommencing Sat 15th August

Following changes to government guidance we're resuming a limited programme of events.

Please visit our What's On page for more information


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.