It was shortly before Peter Scott's death in 1989 that the WWT came across this particular site. Originally the 53 hectare Barn Elms Reservoirs in Barnes, south-west London, owned by Thames Water. Barn Elms was built in the 1890's to supply drinking water for the local area, the reservoirs had recently become redundant following the completion of the Thames Water ring main - a vast underground tunnel supplying all the capitals water needs.
By 1997 the landscaping and engineering work was largely complete and planting had begun in earnest. The London Wetlands Centre was officially opened on 25th May 2000. The centre boasts one of the best wildlife habitats in the UK and has been designated SSSI status on account of the nationally important numbers of Shoveler and Gadwall Duck that overwinter.
|Little Grebe (Healthy Population)
The reed beds are extensive with Cetti's Warbler and Water Rail heard on several occasions and 10 Little Grebe sightings during our stay suggests a healthy population. A Peregrine was seen making two passes during our stay putting the whole place into turmoil. There are 5 hides plus the Peacock Tower but I have to say that personally for a 6"4' guy the majority are uncomfortable, with the viewing windows in completely the wrong positions! Having said that the 3 storey Peacock Tower is exceptional and offers panoramic views of the whole reserve, I could happily spend the whole day here!
|Peacock Tower (highlight of the reserve)