A bird-rich walk in the upper Lee Valley
Situated at the northern end of the Lee Valley Regional Park, this walk includes the local Wildlife Trust’s important wetland reserve at Amwell comprising lakes, reedbeds, islands, shallow margins and willow scrub. The river, canal, adjacent woodlands, farmland and damp fields combine to form a wide range of habitats ensuring a decent variety of birds throughout the year, particularly considering how close the site is to the hurly-burly of London. The main viewpoint overlooking the managed islands and reedbeds is a focal point for scanning the flocks of wildfowl, gulls and waders, while most winters a rarity, such as Smew or Goosander, is recorded on Great Hardmead Lake. It is also a good spot for watching birds moving along the Lee Valley to feeding and roost sites and in the evening a Barn Owl may put in an appearance. Red Kite and Ring-necked Parakeet are often noted from the viewpoint along with an occasional flyover Hawfinch. Bird feeders have also attracted the fast declining Marsh Tit. The wetlands hold a wide range of coarse fish and, in recent years, Otters have been seen along the watercourse. Much of this birding walk, particularly along the main Lee Valley trail which runs up to the viewpoint, is on good quality footpaths, making it ideal for wheelchair users and people with mobility issues. There are also three well positioned hides overlooking the reedbeds and islands.