email a friend
printable version
Location United Kingdom, South East
Central coordinates 0o 1.36' West  51o 38.31' North
IBA criteria B1i, C3, C6
Area 1,711 ha
Altitude 16 - 29m
Year of IBA assessment 2007

Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

Site description A series of wetlands and reservoirs situated along the River Lea, to the north-east of London. A rich aquatic and marginal flora is present in the reservoirs and streams. The IBA is important for several breeding wetland bird species, including a large heronry, wintering wildfowl and late summer moults of Aythya fuligula.

Populations of IBA trigger species

Species Season Period Population estimate Quality of estimate IBA Criteria IUCN Category
Gadwall Mareca strepera passage  2001-2006  555 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Gadwall Mareca strepera winter  2001-2006  704 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Northern Shoveler Spatula clypeata passage  2001-2006  412 individuals  good  B1i, C3  Least Concern 
Eurasian Bittern Botaurus stellaris winter  2003-2007  4 individuals  good  C6  Least Concern 

IBA Monitoring

2007 medium unfavourable low
Good - based on reliable and complete / representative data

Natural system modifications dams & water management/use - small dams likely in short term (within 4 years) small area/few individuals (<10%) slow but significant deterioration low
Pollution domestic & urban waste water - type unknown/unrecorded happening now some of area/population (10-49%) slow but significant deterioration medium

Mareca strepera Gadwall 300 704 individuals 100 favourable
Botaurus stellaris Eurasian Bittern 7 4 individuals 58 unfavourable

Some of site covered (10-49%)  A management plan exists but it is out of date or not comprehensive  Substantive conservation measures are being implemented but these are not comprehensive and are limited by resources and capacity  low 

Protected areas

Protected area Designation Area (ha) Relationship with IBA Overlap with IBA (ha)  
Chingford Reservoirs Site of Special Scientific Interest 387 protected area overlaps with site 368  
Lee Valley Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar) 448 protected area contained by site 448  
Turnford & Cheshunt Pits Site of Special Scientific Interest 174 protected area contained by site 174  
Walthamstow Reservoirs Site of Special Scientific Interest 180 protected area contained by site 177  


IUCN habitat Habitat detail Extent (% of site)
Grassland Humid grasslands  -
Wetlands (inland) Fens, transition mires and springs; Rivers and streams; Standing freshwater  -

Land use

Land-use Extent (% of site)
fisheries/aquaculture -
military -
nature conservation and research -
tourism/recreation -
urban/industrial/transport -
water management -

Contribute  Please click here to help BirdLife conserve the world's birds - your data for this IBA and others are vital for helping protect the environment.

Recommended citation  BirdLife International (2016) Important Bird and Biodiversity Area factsheet: Lea Valley. Downloaded from on 25/10/2016

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife