News archive

June 2014

Friday, 20 June 2014

Walthamstow Wetlands - update *4th Aug: Funding bid for £4.4million successful*

Walthamstow Wetlands - update *4th Aug: Funding bid for £4.4million successful*

There was an exhibition in July 2013 about the proposed designs for creating a Walthamstow Wetlands based around the Walthamstow Reservoirs (owned by Thames Water) which can currently only be accessed from Forest Road (near the Ferry Boat Inn).

It was expected that a round two funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) would be made in February this year. That was delayed but a bid for £4.4million has recently been made, supported by Thames Water who have also committed funding of £1.5million. They will find out if the bid has been successful in late July.

Here is a link to a recent article about the bid in the Waltham Forest Guardian

Here is another link to a Millfields blog from last September which gives more info about the consultation and includes a video showing scenes from around the reservoirs and interviews with various interest groups

The above links need to be copied and pasted into your browser's address bar in order to display the web pages.

However, if you click on the link below, it will take you to

where you can see the detailed plans for the Walthamstow Wetlands proposal.

[I hope that providing the links above proves useful. If it causes you any problems, please let us know by using the 'Contact Us' option on the website or emailing us directly on]

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Illustrated Talk: Big Skies and all that Crawls, Flutters and Flies

Illustrated Talk: Big Skies and all that Crawls, Flutters and Flies

Paul Forecast studied forestry and wildlife, becoming a countryside ranger for a local authority. He has worked for the RSPB for twelve years and is now Regional Director for Eastern England. Who better to have taken us round the natural treasures of East Anglia?

Paul arrived at our talk just 2 hours after he had finished his paternity leave - mentioning possible 'baby brain' if he couldn't remember anything! Well, we didn't notice any problems and all enjoyed his enthusiastic presentation - obviously from the heart and with no written notes to prompt him.

His 'East' area goes from Essex all the way up to and including all of Lincolnshire. The Wash is such an important area that the whole of it needs to be included in one area. Paul highlighted the RSPB reserves in his area and mentioned new reserves - one being Wallasea Island (benefitting from the soil from Crossrail) and another one under negotiation that he couldn't yet tell us about! As the sea encroaches on the East coast and land that is currently used by birds is lost, the RSPB is ensuring that there are other reserves for the birds to go to.

East Anglia has huge swathes of agricultural areas which can be very bird unfriendly and there have been serious declines in our farmland birds - Paul managed to remember the 5 species that are of particular concern (despite lack of sleep due to new baby). He described the various ways the RSPB is trying to tackle the problems such as Skylark patches where the farmer agrees to turn off the seed feed for about 6 metres to create a bare-ish rectangle of land in the middle of his crop. This gives the Skylarks nesting and feeding space.
There are even people who find the nests of endangered birds amongst the crops and when the combine harvester is due, the farmer phones up and someone comes and moves the nest out of the way and replaces it when the combine has passed by! Amazing stuff.

Paul also described some of the campaign work undertaken by the RSPB such as the successful battle against the proposal for an airport at Cliffe - the Thames estuary is such an important site for birds.

All in all, a very interesting talk and we wait to hear the outcome of the negotiations for a new reserve!

If you click on the 'Download file' link, then you will see the striking poster that David (our Publicity officer) produced to advertise this talk.

Download file