Project approved in June secures funding from Heritage Lottery Fund

£4.4m funding approved for Walthamstow Wetlands

Artist impression of the engine house and Coppermill bridge

Artist impression of entrance to Walthamstow Wetlands

Artist impression of cafe inside the Marine Engine House

First published in News
Last updated
This Is Local London: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

A multi-million pound project to create the capital's largest urban wetland nature reserve has received backing from the lottery. 

Waltham Forest Council's application for £4.4million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to transform the area around Walthamstow reservoirs has been approved. 

The plan was approved by the council's planning committee in June following a two-year design and consultation process. 

The overall project will cost £8m and will see many of Walthamstow's reservoirs opened up for the first time and the conversion of a 1894 listed engine house into a visitors centre, a cafe and an exhibition space.

A viewing platform will be incorporated into the listed Coppermill Bridge, allowing users to view the 200 hectare landscape described by Boris Johnson as 'London's best kept secret'. 

Plans also include a 72 space car park and 40 cycle spaces.

Council leader Chris Robbins says the approved funding brings to fruition years of planned work. 

He said: "This is fantastic news for the people of Waltham Forest and the wider East London community. 

"The borough is going through an unprecedented time of regeneration and our cultural offer is at the heart of that growth.

"The Blackhorse Lane area of the borough is one of the places where there’s a great deal of development going on with the old industrial units making way for new homes. 

"We’re building a brand new school on one side of the station and this funding opens the way for the Wetlands to take shape on the other."

Thames Water has pledged £1.84m for the project.

Chief executive Martin Baggs, said, "The Walthamstow reservoirs are vital in helping us to supply drinking water to millions of customers across London, so it’s fantastic that they can also double-up as a haven for wildlife and a place for people to enjoy the great outdoors."

London Wildlife Trust has won the tender to manage the site and works are due to commence in 2015 with a completion date set for 2017. 

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

12:19pm Fri 8 Aug 14

leytonite says...

A great project which will encourag healthy activity such as walking and cycling, engage the public with wildlife and bring visitors to the borough.

A great project which will encourag healthy activity such as walking and cycling, engage the public with wildlife and bring visitors to the borough. [sits back and waits for negative posts about 'waste of money', 'bloody gentrification of Walthamstow', 'WF Council are corrupt/incompetent/ socialist/nepotistic ...'] leytonite
  • Score: 8

12:36pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

This will be fantastic. I hope some of the money could go towards restoring the rust buckets at the pump house as it is a crying shame the old treasures have been left to rot like they have.
This will be fantastic. I hope some of the money could go towards restoring the rust buckets at the pump house as it is a crying shame the old treasures have been left to rot like they have. Villagecranberry
  • Score: -8

12:45pm Fri 8 Aug 14

ViewpointE4 says...

Anyone can currently enter the site for bird watching at a cost of either £1 per day or £10 per year. I doubt that Thames Water Utilities Ltd. would be pledging such a large amount of money unless there was some plan to recoup this by introducing higher entrance fee's. So far this has not been mentioned.

The reservoirs are currently designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The work of converting the site and the projected increase in visitors may have some effect of the many wide ranging breeding and migrant bird species that inhabit the site. I do not see this as a positive.

Where will they be placing the ferris wheel and skateboarding park?
Anyone can currently enter the site for bird watching at a cost of either £1 per day or £10 per year. I doubt that Thames Water Utilities Ltd. would be pledging such a large amount of money unless there was some plan to recoup this by introducing higher entrance fee's. So far this has not been mentioned. The reservoirs are currently designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The work of converting the site and the projected increase in visitors may have some effect of the many wide ranging breeding and migrant bird species that inhabit the site. I do not see this as a positive. Where will they be placing the ferris wheel and skateboarding park? ViewpointE4
  • Score: -12

9:54pm Fri 8 Aug 14

Villagecranberry says...

ViewpointE4 wrote:
Anyone can currently enter the site for bird watching at a cost of either £1 per day or £10 per year. I doubt that Thames Water Utilities Ltd. would be pledging such a large amount of money unless there was some plan to recoup this by introducing higher entrance fee's. So far this has not been mentioned.

The reservoirs are currently designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The work of converting the site and the projected increase in visitors may have some effect of the many wide ranging breeding and migrant bird species that inhabit the site. I do not see this as a positive.

Where will they be placing the ferris wheel and skateboarding park?
You are right, they take advantage of people's hobbies and drain their funds. Some people just want to sit and fish trout or sprats or even an old boot.

Not everyone wants cash and glory. Give the ordinary man a chance?
[quote][p][bold]ViewpointE4[/bold] wrote: Anyone can currently enter the site for bird watching at a cost of either £1 per day or £10 per year. I doubt that Thames Water Utilities Ltd. would be pledging such a large amount of money unless there was some plan to recoup this by introducing higher entrance fee's. So far this has not been mentioned. The reservoirs are currently designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The work of converting the site and the projected increase in visitors may have some effect of the many wide ranging breeding and migrant bird species that inhabit the site. I do not see this as a positive. Where will they be placing the ferris wheel and skateboarding park?[/p][/quote]You are right, they take advantage of people's hobbies and drain their funds. Some people just want to sit and fish trout or sprats or even an old boot. Not everyone wants cash and glory. Give the ordinary man a chance? Villagecranberry
  • Score: -9

7:30am Sat 9 Aug 14

tjm01 says...

So your first post claims" This will be fantastic" and now you worry about having your funds drained, tell me of one location where you can trout fish for free, should imagine theres not much cash left after you have paid your rent, wonder if your landlord spends your money on a rod on the River Usk

Anyway back to the article, I have for many years been a user of the Walthamstow reservoirs as a Carp angler, birdwatcher, and walker, this is a fantastic investment and one which I hope will encourage other users to take advantage of this beautiful open space, it would be especially nice if schools used this as a learning centre, giving children the opportunity to see and experience the wildlife many will not have seen
So your first post claims" This will be fantastic" and now you worry about having your funds drained, tell me of one location where you can trout fish for free, should imagine theres not much cash left after you have paid your rent, wonder if your landlord spends your money on a rod on the River Usk Anyway back to the article, I have for many years been a user of the Walthamstow reservoirs as a Carp angler, birdwatcher, and walker, this is a fantastic investment and one which I hope will encourage other users to take advantage of this beautiful open space, it would be especially nice if schools used this as a learning centre, giving children the opportunity to see and experience the wildlife many will not have seen tjm01
  • Score: 6

7:01pm Sat 9 Aug 14

roundthetwist says...

Excellent news. Fantastic for the borough. Cant wait for it to open.
Excellent news. Fantastic for the borough. Cant wait for it to open. roundthetwist
  • Score: 4

Comments are closed on this article.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree