Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve takes centre stage for World Wetlands Day on Friday and over the weekend.
Thames Water will demonstrate the role that wetlands play in fighting climate change as part of celebrations at its Walthamstow Wetlands Reservoir complex.
Ian Crump, Thames Water’s biodiversity field officer, will host a free guided walk and talk in the Turbine Room on Friday, February 1, at midday.
He said: “We’re delighted to take part in the festivities, which are a great opportunity to highlight the importance Walthamstow Wetlands has to the environment. The reservoir is also home to a huge variety of bird species and is London’s largest recreational fishery, so there will be plenty of wildlife to enjoy on the walk.”
Ian will also focus on the importance of conserving and restoring areas such as flood plains, rivers, lakes and swamps during the tour of the site, which provides a green space and wildlife haven as well as supplying 3.5 million Londoners with high-quality drinking water every day.
On Saturday, visitors can join London Wildlife Trust’s walk to discover the flora and fauna which flourish at the wetlands, and the winning entries of a winter-themed photography competition will be displayed in the Engine House on Sunday.
Almost 500,000 people have visited Walthamstow Wetlands since it was first opened to the public in 2017 following a £10.6 million project between Thames Water, the London Borough of Waltham Forest, the Heritage Lottery Fund and London Wildlife Trust.
As part of its record £11.7 billion business plan for 2020-25, Thames Water has dedicated £1.1 billion to protect and enhance the environment, which includes a commitment to increase biodiversity at 253 sites by five per cent.