A unique site in East London, this is one of Europe’s largest urban Wetland nature reserves. It is a collaborative project between Thames Water, LB Waltham Forest and London Wildlife Trust, that has set out to conserve the hidden heritage here and allow free public access to this unique landscape, formally Walthamstow Reservoirs.. A striking new 24m high “swift tower”, designed by Witherford Watson Mann architects, uses Ketley Brown Brindle Class A facing bricks on the listed Victorian Engine House, replacing the old chimney which was demolished in the 50’s. It contains 54 specially installed bespoke clay swift boxes to encourage the nesting of urban swifts, providing them with multistorey accomodation for their summer breeding in the UK. Sustainability and ecology lie at the heart of this project, and it is fitting that a wide selection of Ketley’s products have been used here, as well as Dreadnought roof tiles. They were all carefully selected by the architects to preserve this exceptional industrial heritage. Ketley also hand crafted the bespoke clay swift boxes.
In order to provide free public access to this Nature Reserve, the project has included the creation of a café and visitors centre within the Engine House which will be available for hire for private events in order to generate revenue. The building has been reroofed with Dreadnought’s brown antique roof tiles and Ketley Quarry tiles have been laid inside for the flooring.