We will be launching the 2022 programme in mid-August
SITE 1: Clapton Station, Upper Clapton Road, E5 9JP
Accessible also by buses 106, 253,254,393.
Turn right from the station and then immediately right onto Southwold Road. Walk eastwards to Middlesex Wharf and River Lee Navigation. Turn right (southwards) and across the footbridge onto Leyton Marsh
SITE 2: Walthamstow Marshes and Latham’s Wharf
Turn right again (northwards) as far as the Lee Valley Regional Park Authority’s interpretation board for Walthamstow Marshes.
Walthamstow Marshes were designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest in 1985 after a campaign by the Save the Marshes Group defeated the Park Authority’s plans to dig up the Marshes for gravel. An emotional account of the Save the Marshes campaign by its chairman, Mike Knowles can be found at
Return to the bridge you have crossed and look back across the River. You are looking at the site of the former Latham’s Timber Yard – formerly one of many timber yards serving the furniture trade along the River Lee. The post-modern low rise houses date from the 1980s when the northern part of the yard was closed. The low density reflected the assumption that London’s population would remain static or decline. The higher blocks were built about 15 years ago when the yard finally closed.
SITE 3: The Essex Wharf
Re- cross the bridge and look back and turn right (southwards) and pause after about
Stand a moment and contemplate the new apartments at Essex Wharf. The River Lee has been a boundary since Saxon times and the East Bank has never been built up before.
SITE 4: Middlesex Filter Beds, E5 9HP
Walk southwards on the towpath, underneath Lea Bridge Road. Cross the river by the bridge after the Princess of Wales pub .Then on the east bank enter the fascinating
Middlesex Filter Beds. Turn left inside the Filter Beds – the site narrows to a point where you can look over a wall to see the weir where the River drops down from the navigation
to Old River Lea.
The Lee (or Lea) was made navigable by the engineer James Smeaton in the 1760s. In the section of river you have just walked the river flows along the navigation. Here the natural river departs and flows to the east of Hackney Marshes whilst the artificial Hackney Cut, constructed by Smeaton, to which we will return, flows to the west. The old river forms a meandering and beautiful walk for another occasion. The Middlesex Filter beds were part of the Leabridge Waterworks until closed in 1969. Nature has taken over and now the site is a thriving mix of open water, reedbeds and wet woodland habitats. Follow the wall adjacent to the old river and leave the filter beds by the gate at the southern end
SITE 5: Hackney Marshes
Observe Hackney Marshes in front of you. The Marshes were laid out as football pitches after the war after huge quantities of rubble from the blitz were deposited there. As their height there were 128 pitches – the largest agglomeration of pitches in the world (and where David Beckham honed his skills). Changing habits have reduced the demand for pitches and a good deal of the area has been naturalised or turned over to cricket or rugby. Turn right and make your way back to the Lee Navigation where you turn left (southwards) along the Navigation
SITE 6: Homerton Road/King’s Mead’s Way, E9 5AW
Buses available 276, 308, 388, A9, W15
TOTAL 80 MINUTES