London Wetland Centre is a wetland reserve in the Barnes area of the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. It covers over 100 acres (40 hectares) of land centred on four disused Victorian reservoirs in a loop of the River Thames, which have been converted into a wide range of habitats for birds and wildlife. In 2012, it was voted the UK’s Favourite Nature Reserve by the BBC’s Countryfile Magazine.
The site features a host of birds all year round, some permanent residents, some of which visit on their migratory routes. Just some of the bird species include: kingfishers, falcon herons, sand martins, sparrowhawks, lapwings, great crested and little grebes, gadwall, shoveler ducks, mallards, pochards, and bitterns. Over 200 species of bird have been recorded since the site opened in 2000; and you can see birds here that you will not see anywhere else in London.
Three native reptile species inhabit the reserve: the common lizard, grass snake and slow worm. A host of butterflies, dragonflies, otters, water voles and frogs can also be spotted
The Centre is open every day except Christmas Day from 9:30am till 5:30pm (6:30pm in summer).
As well as a heated observatory, there are fully accessible walkways and bridges across the pools, meadows and gardens, dotted with six hides from which you can watch birds and other wildlife. There are guided walks and courses to learn more about the birdlife or flora, bat-spotting walks, wildlife photography courses and pond-dipping sessions.
There are designated areas for picnicking.
The closest tube station is Hammersmith and buses run direct to the Centre from there.