7 April 2015

Walthamstow Wetlands

Yesterday I finally got around to visiting the reservoirs on the north side of Forest Road, inspired by the news that the reservoirs are to be opened up for public access. They are of course perfectly accessible already, but there is just the one entrance opposite the Ferry Boat Inn on Ferry Lane. There is a quaint honour system whereby you go into the signing-in room, write your details on a slip of paper, put it into a tiny brown envelope with a pound coin and post it in the metal box. After that you're free to go wherever you like. Possibly even in the middle of the night, like the all-night fishermen.

On this side of the reservoirs, north of Forest Road, we have the Lockwood reservoir and the two Maynard reservoirs, Low and High. It's a huge site. I walked all the way round Lockwood, but ran out of energy before I got as far as Banbury reservoir at the far end. The place is functional, not a nature reserve, which is exactly what is so good about it. The reservoirs have sensible concrete edges, there are giant pipes and octagonal Victorian towers, concrete platforms with Kee Klamp railings, and a lot of grass. It's bleak in a way - bleakness in a good way, a rare commodity in London until you go out east on the Thames. And the views are a completely different perspective across Walthamstow, Tottenham, and across to the City in the distance.

More another time about the more obviously interesting Walthamstow reservoirs. Here are some more photos from the walk.

Thames Water clearly don't know anything about trees - everywhere 
the willows are hacked about in an appallingly amateurish fashion.

New concrete access road.

 Pumping gear.

New apartment blocks at Tottenham Hale.

The Gherkin, Shard and Natwest Tower in the distance.