Animals

Woodberry Wetlands open to the public for reed beds, exotic birds and bats

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Woodberry Wetlands in Stoke Newington. Image: Astrid Hald

Woodberry Wetlands is now open to the public revealing reed beds, open water, exotic birds and bats.

These Wetlands in Stoke Newington surround a 19th century water reservoir.

There are eleven hectares of open space and natural habitat- the equivalent of thirteen football pitches.

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Trail through the nature reserve. Image: Astrid Hald

The water reservoir was dug in 1833 by 2,300 labourers and has never been open to the public.

From 1955 to 1980 chlorine and sodium phosphate gas was pumped into the reservoir to disinfect the water.

But this made it almost impossible for any wildlife to live there.

After the infiltration stopped, plant and animal life revived. 

It’s these which you can now see, after Woodberry Wetlands was opened by Sir David Attenborough on Saturday 30th of April.

The Nature Reserve is the first of London Wildlife Trust‘s Wetlands projects.

The next one, Walthamstow Wetlands, will be opening in June 2017.

When the development manager for the London Wildlife Trust, David Mooney, presented the idea of allowing people around the reservoir to Thames Water, he was met with hesitation at first.

Eventually they gave the project the green light, and provided £300,000 in funding.

Curious Hackney neighbors are now appreciating their new extended backyard.

David walks them through trails, trees and clouded collections of chironomids.

These- to the less nature enthusiastic reader- are non-biting midges; one of the many millions of creatures on the site.

The Wetlands in Woodberry with its bees, birds and butterflies is now open daily for visitors.

 

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