WWT London Wetland Centre

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Barn Elms Wetland Centre
Site of Special Scientific Interest
London Wetland Centre Building, Barnes, UK - Diliff.jpg
The entrance to the London Wetland Centre Visitors Centre and the statue of Peter Scott by Nicola Godden on the left
Area of Search Greater London
Grid reference TQ 228770
Interest Biological
Area 29.9 hectares
Notification 2002
Location map Magic Map

WWT London Wetland Centre is a wetland reserve managed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in the Barnes area of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames, by Barn Elms. The site is formed of four disused Victorian reservoirs tucked into a loop in the Thames.

The centre first opened in 2000, and in 2002 an area of 29.9 hectares was designated a Site of Special Scientific Interest as the Barn Elms Wetland Centre.[1]

The centre occupies more than 100 acres (40 hectares) of land which was formerly occupied by several small reservoirs. These were converted into a wide range of wetland features and habitats before the centre opened in May 2000. It was the first urban project of its kind in the United Kingdom.

Many birds which have now made their home in the Centre cannot be found anywhere else in London, and there are nationally significant numbers of gadwall and northern shoveler. Other wild birds include Eurasian bittern, northern pintail, northern lapwing, water rail, rose-ringed parakeet, Eurasian sparrowhawk, sand martin, common kingfisher, little grebe and great crested grebe.

It is host to regular lectures and events concerned with preserving Britain’s wetland animals, and was featured on the BBC television programme Seven Natural Wonders in 2005 as one of the wonders of the London area, with a focus on the region's parakeets, in an episode presented by Bill Oddie.

In 2012 London Wetland Centre was voted Britain's Favourite Nature Reserve in the BBC Countryfile Magazine Awards.

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