Walthamstow WetlandsHidden Heritage


Opening this 200ha site to wider public access, will allow visitors to enjoy and learn about the site’s distinctive built and natural heritage, which is unique in London.

Walthamstow Reservoirs is already remarkable. Rich in cultural and natural value, the reservoirs’ importance as a potential nature reserve was recognised in the early 1940s by Professor Abercrombie:

“A series of great reservoirs threads up the valley, extending from Walthamstow to Enfield and though man made they are acquiring a charm of their own as trees grow round them and on their little islands – they are becoming nature reserves for large numbers of birds and the resort of privileged fisherman. These areas are a great open-air lung to the crowded East End – their preservation is essential...Every piece of open land should be welded into a great regional reservation ...” 

Patrick Abercrombie (1945)

The Walthamstow Wetland project focuses on opening this 200ha site to wider public access, allowing visitors to enjoy and learn about the site’s distinctive built and natural heritage, which is unique in London. This distinctive nature stems from the site’s importance as a historic operational landscape that supplies drinking water to London, and it’s rich biodiversity, which is of international importance for water birds.

The concept is to create a ‘green core’ of naturalised landscape at the heart of the reservoir complex. New entrances are proposed to connect into existing communities, many of which are deficient in access to nature. A clear generous pathway will run through through the centre of the site linking these entrances and connecting to the strategic pedestrian and cycle route which runs through the middle of the Lee Valley.

A new visitor centre located in the refurbished Marine Engine House pumping station is located at the center of the network of path and walks. The existing sites habitats will be enhanced and extended to further enrich and diversify, increasing habitat for protected species and attracting a wide variety of new species to the site. High Level view of this enriched landscape will be provided at the Marine Engine House and Coppermill viewing platform, allowing visitors to understand their place in this distinctive city landscape.

 

2013–2017
Waltham Forest, London

Client

London Borough of Waltham Forest

Value

£8.7m

Architect

Witherford Watson Mann

Collaborating Organisation

Counterculture

Consultant

Studio Dekka

Engineer

P3r

TALL

Graphic Design

Polimekanos

Photographer

Jason Orton



Walthamstow Wetlands

Opening this 200ha site to wider public access, will allow visitors to enjoy and learn about the site’s distinctive built and natural heritage, which is unique in London.

Kinnear Landscape Architects
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