Preview: Wild Weekend Festival at Woodberry Wetlands

Hackney's very own nature reserve celebrates its first year with two days of events and family activities

DO you know what lives alongside you in the city, from tiny tadpoles to powerful birds of prey? If you’re curious, come and experience Hackney’s wild side at Woodberry Wetlands nature reserve. 

Originally a reservoir the size of 13 football pitches, the site was closed to the public for over 200 years before a £1.3million project by London Wildlife Trust transformed it into a modern nature reserve.

The reservoir has been sculpted into 27 acres of reed-fringed ponds and dykes connected by channels of different depths that create a rich habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Around the site, signs made by a local designer tell the story of the area: from the deer hunting that took place there in the 1600s; through to building the reservoirs in 1833, to bring clean water from the chalk streams of Hertfordshire to polluted London. 

The expansive wetlands were opened last year by national treasure Sir David Attenborough. It is celebrating its first birthday with a Wild Weekend Festival, featuring wildlife-themed events including workshops, talks and debates, a live music stage, guided walks and family activities for all ages. 

Entrance to the two-day event is free, as are all the activities, and no booking is necessary. But don’t forget your purse, there will be food and drink at the fully licensed Coal House Café, while an outdoor farmers market will be selling locally produced organic food, drinks and crafts. 

The Wild Weekend at Woodberry Wetlands takes place from 29 to 30 April, with activities from 9am till 6pm. Access the wetlands via the west entrance, off via New River Path, Lordship Road, Woodberry Down, Hackney.