The catalyst for opening up 500 acres of previously hidden water and wetlands has been a change in leadership at Thames Water and Waltham Forest Council.
Clare Coghill, Leader Elect of Waltham Forest Council spoke at our Future Cities Forum on 6th March 2017 at IET, London. She described how previously Thames Water had been risk adverse but could now see the benefit of opening up the reservoir area, that is five times the size of Barnes wetland centre, to the adjoining boroughs. Thames Water wanted to explain to Londoners the historic and current importance of water conservation and managment. The Victorian pumphouse tower and engine buildings are being stylishly redeveloped into a visitor centre.
Clare says 'this makes a wonderful environmental message for Londoners and admission will be free. Before 2016 the ten thousand people in my ward had little or no idea of the wetlands area despite its proximity'. The wetlands have the potential to be an amenity for leisure and learning to the three boroughs of Haringey, Hackney and Waltham Forest and the opening up of this beautiful stretch of water will also appeal to developers and those who want to live nearby.