Experience London’s wild side with a weekend of free, wildlife-themed events at Woodberry Wetlands, an expansive nature reserve Hackney opened to the public for the first time by Sir David Attenborough last April. Created from a freshwater reservoir previously closed to visitors for nearly 200 years, the site is now a popular visitor attraction with reedbeds and wildflowers providing a rare haven for birds, butterflies and dragonflies. The Wild Weekend festival marks the wetlands first birthday by celebrating all of the marvels this amazing natural habitat has to offer on Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th April.

This two-day event is designed to appeal to everyone, from experienced wildlife fans to nature-novices, and visitors will be able to enjoy a variety of workshops, stimulating talks and debates, a live music stage, guided walks and family activities for all ages. Refreshments will be available from the fully licensed Coal House Café and an outdoor Farmers Market will be selling locally produced organic food, drinks, crafts and more. Admission to the Wild Weekend is completely free, as are all workshops, talks, tours and other activities, with no advance booking required. Activities will take place between 9:00am and 6:00pm each day at various locations across the nature reserve.  Woodberry Wetlands’ main entrance is located on Lordship Road (at the New River Path, London N16 and is only a ten-minute walk from Manor House tube station.

If you are curious about London’s nature and wildlife make a date for Wild Weekend this bank holiday and discover just how much wildlife lives alongside us in London, from tiny tadpoles to powerful birds of prey.

For more information and full programme details, please visit www.woodberrywetlands.org.uk/events or email events@woodberrywetlands.org.uk

The Wild Weekend is sponsored by the Kestrelman Trust and Thames Water





Live Music:

Nest Collective presents…

For 10 years the Nest Collective has been London’s go-to place for experiencing folk, world and new music, creating a community that seeks unique musical experiences in unusual spaces. Over two days of this special weekend, the NC will produce a beautiful meeting of wildlife and the arts by hosting the Wild Woodberry live music stage at the festival. The event also marks the launch of Campfire Club at Woodberry Wetlands which sees Nest Collective team up with London Wildlife Trust for an intimate series of un-amplified, outdoor music performances this summer on every third Friday of the month. Website


Talks & Debates:

Conservation in the Capital – lively debate about the issues London birds are facing

From Cockney sparrows and graceful grebes to the bird-seed industry and the design of new buildings, there is a lot of happening to the capital’s birds. Curated by London Wildlife Trust’s Director of Conservation, Mathew Frith, the festival’s Speakers Tent will feature presentations from leading experts on some of the marvels of London’s avifauna, from swifts to peregrine falcons, and actions that are taking place to conserve their habitats. In addition, interactive panel discussions on some hot topics, such as the impacts of development and issues surrounding controversial birds such as parakeets, will enable the audience to ask questions, gain insights and learn how to further help London’s birds.


Food & Drink:

Wild Woodberry Farmers Market:

As the perfect accompaniment to this weekend celebrating all things ‘wild’ in the city, Woodberry Wetlands will host its first ever farmers market selling the best in local produce, organic foods, bakery and dairy goods, crafts, natural skincare products and more. The market will also include food and drink stalls to provide sustenance for visitors throughout the weekend.

Traders include:

Wildes Cheese wildescheese.co.uk, Craving Coffee cravingcoffee.co.uk,Flour and Spoon flourandspoon.uk,, Prestige Bakery prestigepatisserie.co.uk, Single Variety singlevariety.co.uk, Jammy Val jammyval.com, Fruit Magpie fruitmagpie.co.uk, Wabi Skincare wabiskincare.com, Briggs Bughouses @briggsbughouses, Tangys Tasty @tangystasty, Sticky Beaks www.stickybeaks.co.uk, Young Vegans youngvegans.co.uk, Redemption Brewery redemptionbrewing.co.uk, Elephant Juice elephantjuicebar.com, Niko B nikobchocolates.co.uk, Muffin Man & Co, The Ice Kitchen icekitchen.co.uk and Marsh Farm Produce and more.



Gawking at the Hawks – birds of prey display

Find out how owls fly silently, learn to spot a peregrine flying over a cityscape and get a chance to see some beautiful birds of prey up close. Hawk on the Wild Side, a friendly family business with a passion for birds of prey, falconry and the environment will be on hand with inform and answer questions. Hawk on the Wild Side website


The Blooms & the Bees – beekeeping demonstration

Find out more about bees and beekeeping through an informative demonstration by the Local Honeyman at Woodberry Wetlands’ apiary. This exhibition will allow onlookers to witness beekeeping skills in action, ask questions and find out more about planting for bees. Local Honeyman website


Guided Walks:

Wild Foods & Medicines – The practice of gathering food from the wild is possible even in cities. Within London’s densely populated urban environment you will find an abundance of edible and medicinal wild fruits, vegetables, plants and fungi and at Woodberry Wetlands alone there are more than 70 species. This walk will give you a taste of the basic guidelines you will need to follow in locating, collecting and preparing wild foods and medicines. Walk led by Medical Herbalists, Researchers and Authors Kim Walker  BSc (Hons), MSc & Vicky Chown BSc (Hons) website


Birds of Woodberry Wetlands – Spring is a birdlife spectacular at the East Reservoir that you won’t want to miss. This guided walk led by London Wildlife Trust’s own birding experts, Tony Wileman and Nathan Legall, will introduce you to some of the common species visiting us at this time of year. The walk will circumnavigate the reservoir at a comfortable pace and allow plenty of opportunity for discussion and questions.


Plant & Tree IdentificationDon’t know a blackthorn from a birch, an elm from an elder? Then this introductory ID walk is for you.  Over the course of 90 minutes, you will explore a variety of habitats, including woodland, reed bed, wildflower meadow, hedgerow, grassland and orchard, across the nature reserve’s 11 hectares and learn to identify our common tree and plant species



Wildlife Through a Lens – wildlife photography basics in 90 minutesWildlife photographer Penny Dixie offers her expert knowledge and guidance on how to capture the perfect wildlife images. This short drop-in workshop will offer amateur photographers with their own cameras an opportunity to improve their skills and get practical advice on how to get those great wildlife shots. Penny Dixie website

Bird Sculpture Workshop – Learn to weave with willows – Willow has been used through the ages as a weaving material for containers and construction and is also a fantastic, sustainable material to use in sculpture. Join our guest willow artist and educator in learning the basics of preparing this versatile material whilst taking in an expert sculpture demonstration. Advice will also be on hand for those wishing to pursue further interest in this age old craft.


Birdsong identification workshop – Some birdsong is memorable and people have little difficulty recognising the birds. However, there are some species, including common ones that people struggle with even after many years. Conservation Ecologist Tony Wileman leads this fascinating workshop aimed at tackling this dilemma and helping to develop birdsong identification and memory skills.

Optics Tutorial – learning to use binoculars & telescopesThis beginners session will teach you binocular and telescope basics and help you choose the equipment that is right for you. Experts will be on hand with suggestions about how to observe wildlife and get the best out of your equipment.

Family Wildlife Activities:

Batty behaviourLearn about the species of bat making their homes at Woodberry Wetlands with our friends at London Bat Group. Learn about bats’ crucial role in the ecosystem, the lifestyle of these mysterious creatures and the variety of issues threatening their habitat.  A demonstration of harp trapping techniques used to catch bats for survey purposes will also be on show. LBG website

Give Birds a Helping Hand with Hackney Swifts – Swifts are emblematic to our reservoirs but are at risk as they lose their nesting places to urban development. Their breeding numbers have fallen by 47 per cent between 1995-2014, making them an amber-listed species on the list of Birds of Conservation Concern. Hackney Swift volunteers will be at the Roundhouse throughout the weekend to deliver presentations about the conservation of these birds and show how you can assist. Includes a poster printing workshop to help illustrate beauty of these birds. Hackney Swifts Twitter

Dragonfly DetectivesBetween May and September, London’s streams, rivers and ponds light up with the dazzling flight of dragonflies and damselflies. Collectively known as Odonata, these impressive insects thrive in unpolluted water and are a great indicator of a healthy ecosystem. By understanding where dragonflies and damselflies live, we will find out how connected and healthy London’s freshwater habitats are.  As part of London Wildlife Trust’s Water for Wildlife project, we are asking Londoners to help us map dragonflies and damselflies across the capital. Based alongside our educational ponds, our Water for Wildlife team will show you how you can become a Dragonfly Detective. Website

It’s a Bugs LifeJoin London Wildlife Trust’s outdoor learning team for an engaging, informative and entertaining session about our indigenous invertebrate species.  Discover how to recognise different species and where to find them in the field whilst learning a bit about their natural history, lifecycle, habitat, migration, camouflage and survival methods against predators and adverse conditions.


Amazing amphibians & aquatic Life – There are healthy populations of smooth newt, common frog and common toad across the Woodberry Wetlands nature reserve as it is an excellent breeding and foraging habitat for amphibians. Our outdoor education sessions will focus on these amazing animals and will feature hands-on pond dipping experiences identifying the array of aquatic life residing in our ponds.



All our lives are better when they’re a bit wild. Share why wildlife and wild places matter to us all at www.mywildlife.org.uk


The London Wildlife Trust is part of a network of 47 local Wildlife Trusts across the UK, working under the umbrella of The Wildlife Trust Partnership, the UK’s leading conservation charity dedicated to wildlife protection.

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