Places to see birds

Fishers Green (SSSI SPA RAMSAR)

Hobby chasing dragonflies

Fishers Green is reached via Stubbins Hall Lane, off B194, Waltham Abbey, Essex.

It is situated within the Lee Valley Country Park, which extends over 1,000 acres. Gravel has been extracted from the valley since the early 20th century. This activity left a large number of gravel pits, some were in-filled with waste materials, but many were left to flood by the natural water table. Over time this bare landscape was colonized by Willows and Alder Trees, which find a damp habitat to their liking. In the drier areas of land, bushes such as Hawthorn and Blackthorn colonized, these have created excellent nesting sites. In each autumn these bushes produce large crops of berries.

There is always something of interest to see throughout the year. There has been a policy of habitat improvement by planting many native species of trees and bushes. These areas are then coppiced on a rotation basis, the length of time between each cut is dependent on the habitat. This work has led to the increase in species of birds breeding in the area, including Nightingales and Warblers. Many species of butterflies and dragonflies can also be seen during the summer months.

There are at present three hides, which are open every day. The main Bittern Information watchpoint hide is manned by volunteers at certain weekends during the year. A viewing platform has recently been built overlooking 70 Acres lake.

Light refreshments and lunches are available at Hayes Hill Farm visitor centre and information point at certain times of the year.

Winter specialities are Bittern, Smew, Goosander and Goldeneye. By recording the species of water birds, under the WEBS monthly counts, it has been shown that the Lee Valley is both nationally and internationally important as follows:

International Importance for Gadwall and Shoveler

National Importance for Little and Great Crested Grebes, Cormorant, Heron, Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Water Rail and Kingfisher.

From the main car park ( toilets inc. RADAR ), access is mainly along good footpaths, many suitable for wheelchairs.

In May 2008, a female Red-footed falcon was seen at 70 Acres lake. Cetti's warblers have spread in the area, and hobbies can be seen hunting over the lakes. Good numbers of nightingales can be heard singing in the spring, and common buzzards are now a regular sighting over the farm and woodland and there have been sightings of Red Kites.