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 national restrictions guidelines on COVID-19 on Wednesday 4th November 2020, please review the following site rules and information before visiting Walthamstow Wetlands:

  • Walthamstow Wetlands will remain 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 follow the guidance on  meeting others safely when onsite. You must stay in your household bubble, support bubble, or meet only one other person. 
  • Please comply with social distancing guidelines at all times and stay 2m away from other visitors
  • The Engine House will remain open for access to toilets only from 10:30am - 3:30pm. The retail shop is closed until further notice. 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 closed except for blue badge holders. This is to limit non-essential travel in line with the national restrictions. Blue badge holders must contact reception to exit site.
  • The Coppermill Tower remains closed until further notice.
  • The World's Larder cafe will remain open from 10:30 - 3:30pm, serving takeaway only from the terrace located at the rear of the building. There is no seating available. 
  • 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
  • Angling for seasonal permit holders is allowed onsite. Angling opening times are 8am – 5pm. 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 also allowed onsite. Those with annual birdwatching permits will be able to access the site between 8am – 5pm 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.
  • 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 suspended until further notice

Please check back for updates. 


Our family learning events are suspended until further notice.

Please check back for updates. 


Walthamstow Wetlands public events are suspended until further notice

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.


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.