Walthamstow Wetlands is London’s largest wetland nature reserve. Having opened to the wider public for the very first time in 150 years in October last year, the 211 hectare site, including 10 reservoirs, has attracted a large number of nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts from across the capital.
With summer having arrived, Walthamstow Wetlands is a bustle of activity and bird song. The skies are blue, the birds and insects are feeding on the new plants and vegetation and flowers have blossomed – a few reasons why the site is a special home to wildlife both resident and rare.
Become a Junior Ranger at Walthamstow Wetlands
Thursdays and Fridays in August - 10am-1pm; 2pm - 5pm (4-11years)
Walthamstow Wetlands is a special home for many animals and birds, both great and small! To make sure the wildlife is safe and that there is enough food and space for them, our rangers are always busy onsite creating new habitats, monitoring activity and keeping an eye on animal behaviour. If you would like to learn more about what it takes to be a junior ranger at Walthamstow Wetlands, join us on some fun and educational activities onsite over the summer holidays! You can try your hand at building camouflaged dens which you can use to observe wildlife. You can also help create a large bug hotel for creepy crawlies to nest in. There will also be the opportunity to spend some quiet time in the bird hide and help us count how many birds there are, see what they are doing on the waters and report your findings for our records. All participating children will be presented with a junior ranger badge at the end of their hard work!
Cost: £10 per child + booking fee. Duration: 3 hours. Children must be accompanied by a responsible adult at all times during the event
Walthamstow Wetlands Perseids Meteor Watch
Saturday 11th August, 9pm - midnight
Join us for an exclusive evening with Stowstargazers to learn more about the Perseids meteor shower and see how many shooting stars you can spot at Walthamstow Wetlands!
The night will include a short talk on space rocks and meteors, followed by a practical orientation session of the sky at night and a chance for a look through a telescope. Then we’ll all settle down by the reservoirs, lay back and try counting shooting stars. As a special treat the International Space Station is timed to fly over during the evening.
Please dress appropriately as it could get cooler during the night. Please also bring a blanket and something to allow you to lay down or recline. A red torch is handy if you have one. Whilst the moon will be out of the way making for a darker sky, as ever, stargazing is at the mercy of the clouds.
Tickets priced at £15 per person.
Meet the Artist - Fearghus Ó Conchúir
Friday 17th August, 10 - 11am
Fearghus Ó Conchúir, an independent choreographer and dance artist, is currently the artist in residence at Walthamstow Wetlands. Engaging with the theme of refuge and examining the Wetlands as a site of sanctuary for humans and non-humans and for regular and transient inhabitants, Fearghus is currently creating dances inspired by what he sees and experiences - dances ‘choreographed’ by the wildlife and by the reservoir infrastructure. As part of the artist in residency programme, Fearghus will be hosting a talk on Friday 17th August between 10 - 11am in the Turbine Room where he will be sharing some of the work he’s been doing, his inspirations and what he thinks is so important about choreography, dance and the Wetlands.
Free event. Spaces are limited so please register to guarantee your place.
Wild Life Drawing: British Birds of Prey
Tuesday 21st August, 6.30 - 9pm
Join us after hours at London's largest wetland nature reserve, Walthamstow Wetlands, for a whole evening of British Birds of Prey this summer. Our event will begin with a private wildlife walk around the wetlands to view the indigenous and migrating waterfowl that make use of the reservoirs. To follow, we’ll spend two hours learning to draw British Birds of Prey with breeds including the Peregrine Falcon, Barn and Tawny Owls. We will be introduced to these fine feathers with a detailed talk from an expert local falconer and learn about their anatomy, unique characteristics and how they’ve evolved to become powerful aerial hunters. You'll learn where to spot these birds in the wild and we will also discuss the current conservation issues affecting these species. All the birds are truly charismatic with their own individual personalities and we guarantee you'll go away with not only some great drawings, but a new found respect and admiration for these beautiful birds of prey.
£30 per person
Open all summer
For those wishing to observe wildlife in the peace and quiet and discover the unique history of the site, the Touchstones Trail offers an opportunity to both enjoy the surroundings and learn more. From viewing Heron Island, one of the UK’s largest colonies of breeding heron, to spotting the Roundhouse, a surviving relic of a lost Victorian garden, the Touchstones Trail offers something for everyone. Beginning at the Engine House, where visitors can learn all about Victorian architecture and the very special swift tower which has been built especially to house nesting swifts and roosting bats, the Touchstones Trail finishes at the Lockwood Reservoir, offering exceptional views across London’s skyline where in the distance visitors can see the Orbit sculpture in the Olympic Park.
More summer family events
Running throughout July and August
The London Wildlife Trust runs a calendar of weekly activities as well as seasonal events throughout the year. From free storytelling, wildlife activities and Crafternoons on different nature themes on alternative Mondays and Wednesdays to special wild weekends including arts & crafts, nature trails and mammal home-building workshops, Walthamstow Wetlands provides a unique setting for children of all ages and interests to earn, discover and explore.