A popular day-ticket complex once only accessible to anglers and birdwatchers is now fully open to the public.
The Walthamstow Reservoirs site in London has been an established fishing venue for decades, but walkers and cyclists are now free to roam the banks.
The Walthamstow Wetlands project – a partnership between Thames Water, the London Borough of Waltham Forest and London Wildlife Trust – opened last Friday (October 20, 2017).
There is now a 2km cycle path through the complex, alongside 13 miles of footpath and a revamped visitor centre and café.
Venue regular Mark Jennings told us: “The public have no respect whatsoever for the anglers. It's full of kids screaming and families shouting.
“We pay day-ticket prices, the public pay nothing. We’ve basically had our peace and quiet taken away.
“You can also cycle around the complex. It was opened to public on Friday and already there's been at least three people on bikes hooked by fly anglers.”
The site is open to the public for free seven days a week, between 9.30am and 4pm from October to March and between 9.30am and 5pm during the summer.
An estimated 250,000 visitors are expected to come through the gates in the first year of the initiative.
The project’s website mentions angling but the page dedicated to more information about fishing simply reads ‘coming soon’.
Local angler Mark added: “It's been used by fishermen for 150 years with no access to the public.
“It's a popular carp day-ticket water also used by fly anglers and occasionally matchmen. Now all of a sudden it's been made into a wetlands walk for the public.”
A Thames Water spokesman told Carpfeed: “We’ve been planning to open the site for some time and have listened carefully to anglers' concerns.
“We’re aware there were a few visitors on the very busy opening weekend who have not yet understood what the site has to offer to different groups, and we’ll be working on this in the coming weeks.”