Amwell Nature Reserve (Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust)
Reserve Name Amwell Nature Reserve
Managing Authority Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust
Lee Valley Park Information Centre
Essex EN9 1QX
TL374126 (parking) – From A10 take the B181 following signs to St Margarets, turn left into Amwell Lane (just before St Margarets Rail Station), after about 1 km park on road by footpath.
Parking & Toilet Provision
There is no dedicated Car Park and parking in the road can be difficult. One suggestion is to drop off any passengers at the start of the footpath where there is more room.
Description of Habitat & Facilities
Owned by the St Albans Sand & Gravel Company, there is no direct access to the reserve, but great views can be had from the viewpoint. This is really beautiful location, with a bench and birdwatcher’s rest for prolonged viewing. There is always something of interest at all times of the year. The large lake is surrounded by woodland and farmland and the lake itself has shallow gravel areas, hosting Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Terns and Lapwings. Hobby fly over in summer and Osprey have been seen on passage. Up to 20 Smews have been recorded in winter, as well as Siskin, Fieldfare & Redwings. Migration time can turn up the unexpected so it’s always worth a look.
Description of Trails
Follow the path down to the railway line (200m), checking out the disused gravel pit to the left. You will often spot various wildfowl and waders (LRP, RP, Lapwing, Gadwall, Coot, Gulls). The crossing itself is accessible via 2 kissing gates, the gravel path beyond climbs sharply over the next 20 m (the gravel is quite deep in places and this is the trickiest point of the route so wheelchair users may need help here) Cross the bridge over the River Lee and the Viewpoint is in front of you (total distance from car 250m) Turn left and follow the Lee Valley Cycle Route, on a wide firm surface, where you will find a gate leading to a hide overlooking a reed bed (250m from Viewpoint). The hide can only accommodate 3 to 4 people but it does have a wheelchair viewing point, but users may need help moving the benches. One thing to be aware of is that the short, level access path from the gate to the hide can be muddy at times.
You can continue along the main path, beyond the working gravel pit, to a bridge over another river. From here you can see over another disused pit and it is worth checking the whole area around this bridge for Grey Wagtail; it is also good in winter for Siskin, Goldcrest, Fieldfare etc.
It is possible to reach this area from St Margarets Rail Station (from London, Liverpool St) along the Lee Valley Cycle Route, which goes to the Viewpoint (1km), I’ve never done it myself, but if the full length of the cycle route is of the same quality as this bit it should be perfectly adequate. This route has the added advantage of running down one side of the reserve, thus giving closer views than the viewpoint.
Number of Hides Viewpoint with birdwatcher’s rests & one hide
Description of Hides [By name or number]
Date Last Updated