WaterWorks Nature Reserve - Leyton, London, UK
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member OrientGeo
N 51° 33.874 W 000° 02.162
30U E 705425 N 5716773
Quick Description: A redundant water treatment works, now protected as a nature reserve and education resource.
Location: London, United Kingdom
Date Posted: 1/11/2021 9:24:32 AM
Waymark Code: WM13MXZ
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member Bear and Ragged
Views: 8

Long Description:
The WaterWorks Nature Reserve protects an historic water treatment works that was constructed in 1855 and continued in operation as the Essex Filter Beds until 1970, when replaced by larger and more-modern facilities nearby. The land had been closed to the public and slowly reverting to a more natural state until it was acquired by the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority as a nature reserve in 2002. The site comprises a wildflower meadow, a nature education area, small patches of woodland and nine former filter beds. These filter beds are managed to show a succession from open water, through reedbed colonisation, scrub encroachment to wet woodland, thus providing a wide range of habitats for birds and other wildlife. There is an extensive series of observation hides, plus indoor educational and refreshment facilities (although these have limited opening hours). Artificial nest sites to attract Kingfisher and Sand Martin have been provided on the reserve. As well as the wildlife interest, there is also plenty of interesting industrial archaeology to observe at this location as well as artworks and carvings.

The WaterWorks is one of several sites in this part of the Lea Valley which is of interest to bird watchers, including nearby the Middlesex Filter Beds, Walthamstow Marshes and the Walthamstow Wetlands.

The given coordinates are for the single entrance/exit to the site. Car parking is available a few metres away from this point, or the reserve is a short walk from Lea Bridge Railway Station. Opening and closing times are subject to variation and are roughly 8am to 5pm, but you should check the linked website for latest details.

Ornithological Summary

The London Bird Club lists the ornithological interest as follows:


In spring and autumn, waders on passage through the valley drop into the site. Common and Green Sandpiper are occasional visitors, while Wood Sandpiper and Black-tailed Godwit have recently been recorded.
Reed Warbler, Pochard and Little Grebe breed here. A variety of other wildfowl including Gadwall, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Moorhen can be seen. Sand Martin are summer visitors. Dense-scrub beds are maintained for Blackcap, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff and Linnet. Garden Warblers are rare here. Reed Warblers and Reed Buntings nest in the reeds. Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker are residents. Little Owl visit the trees bordering Hackney Marshes and Bittern rarely frequent the central beds in winter.
Park Name: WaterWorks Nature Reserve

Sponsoring Organization: Lee Valley Regional Park Authority

Handicap Accessible?: Yes

Website: [Web Link]

Entrance Fee: 0.00 (listed in local currency)

List any Hides, Birding Towers, or other structures to assist in Birdwatching found at the location:
A bird observation hide which is considered to be the largest in London, giving sheltered views onto six of the filter beds.

Parking Coordinates: N 51° 33.901 W 000° 02.212

Visit Instructions:
A clear, original image is required to log a visit to a waymark in this category. The image must contain a bird at the site, a nest, or other evidence that visitors partook in the delight of birdwatching at this site. Please tell us about your experience with an identification of a bird or two that you've seen!
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Recent Visits/Logs:
Date Logged Log User Rating  
Master Mariner visited WaterWorks Nature Reserve - Leyton, London, UK 1/31/2021 Master Mariner visited it