Supported Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve

13 November 2017

A 520-acre complex of ten operational reservoirs in north-east London, Walthamstow Wetlands is Europe’s largest urban wetland nature reserve supplying around 3.5 million households with water in and around the capital.

Last month saw the official opening of Walthamstow Wetlands to the wider public for the first time in 150 years. The Walthamstow Wetlands operational partnership - Waltham Forest Council, Thames Water and London Wildlife Trust – cohosted the launch event last week.

Plans have been underway since 2012 to transform the site into a wildlife-rich reserve and rural escape for residents and visitors.

As well as a nature reserve with foot paths and cycle tracks twisting between the fully operational reservoirs, the multi-million-pound development, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, Thames Water, the London Borough of Waltham Forest and the London Wildlife Trust, encompasses the redesigned Engine House with a visitor centre, café and additional tower for nesting swifts and roosting bats. The Grade II listed Coppermill Tower meanwhile offers panoramic views of the city. 

Ramboll Environ was employed by the London Borough of Waltham Forest to provide environmental, hydrological, engineering and geotechnical services for the development of the reserve’s new reed beds. We prepared a hydrological and geotechnical design together with a dredging specification to make way for the new wetland area whilst allowing for the continuous supply of London’s potable water.

We reviewed specialist ecological survey data, prepared a draft design of reed bed planting plots (including reed stock, species mix and plant specifications) and prepared biosecurity notes to evaluate the presence of invasive species on or around the site during the reed bed creation works.

We also supported the client with the completion of the final design for tender, prepared ecological specifications for contractors tendering for the project and provided a Clerk of Works for the construction process.

Anthony Guay (Principal, Southampton, UK) said, “We are delighted to have been involved in this fantastic project, helping to give people access to an abundance of wildlife just 15 minutes from central London.”

Follow this link to find out more about Walthamstow Wetlands or contact Anthony Guay for more on our role throughout the project.

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