Tired of London, Tired of Life - A website about things to do in London

3 November 2010

Wander Middlesex Filter Beds

Now a nature reserve, which is part of the Lee Valley Regional Park, the original six Middlesex Filter Beds were created in 1852 in order to purify water for the surrounding areas and prevent Cholera, and were subsequently expanded. By 1969, the system of water cleaning had become outdated, with the building of the Coppermills Water Treatment Works in Walthamstow, and they were closed.

By the late eighties, they had been the responsibility of Thames Water for many years, and had become overgrown, but teeming with wildlife. Seven beds were leased to the Lee Valley Regional Park and they now form the Middlesex Filter Beds Nature Reserve.

The reed beds and other areas are, we are told, home to over 60 different species of bird, including Snipe, Reed Warblers and Sparrowhawk, and also amphibians such as toads, frogs and newts.

Though the wildlife is possibly better in summer, they are open all year round and are free to visit. For more, see here.


  1. You know, I've been out to lee valley and never seen this. Quick, remedy this weekend. Thanks for the info

  2. I hadn't either, until I took a bike ride out there on Sunday. Thanks for reminding me I can't spell LEE, as well!

  3. Hi Tom, hope all is well! You have been listed in the top 20 london blogs by Wikio, I posted a sneaky peek at my blog which you can read here: http://www.thelondonfoodie.co.uk/2010/11/sneaky-preview-of-top-20-london-blogs.html

    Apologies for the link.

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

  4. Oh I heard about these on an audio walk I have on MP3. Listen to them on the bus going to work. Great that I can see them before I get to do the walk itself. Thank You.
    Just a fan of these walks. Not sure if you have seen/heard them before. Sorry for another link.

  5. It is spelled both Lee and Lea. The Lee is the man-made channel and the Lea is the natural river course.