Amwell GP

From Londonbirders

Amwell Gravel Pit (or Amwell Quarry Nature Reserve to give it its full name) is located in the Upper Lee Valley.


By Car: Leave the A10 heading towards the A414 and at the roundabout take the B181 towards St Margarets. Take the second road on the left - Amwell Lane (just before the level crossing) - and after a kilometre park on the right at TL377122. Follow a track across the railway line to the lookout point at the northern end of the reserve.

By Public Transport: Take a train from Liverpool Street station towards Hertford North and disembark at St Margarets station. On the east side of the station follow the road - River Meads - northwards until the lock. Walk north for a kilometre towards the lookout point with the reserve across the canal on your right.

Map: (arrow on map points to approximate position of lookout point)

Access: Most people only watch from the lookout point although there is a circular walk around the reserve with a hide at the northern end. There is also another pit on the western side of the railway line.


Winter: A reliable place for Smew, usually including a few drakes. Other ducks such as Wigeon, Teal, Goldeneye, Pochard and Tufted Duck should also be present. Bitterns can sometimes be seen, typically at dusk. There is a roost of gulls, often including a Mediterranean Gull, and Little Egrets roost on one of the wooded islands. Siskins are sometimes present in the surrounding trees.

Summer: Breeding birds include Little Ringed Plover and Sand Martin. Hobbies are also seen regularly.

Spring/Autumn: Amwell is probably the best place to observe migrating birds in the Lee Valley, especially raptors and waders.

Rarities: Laughing Gull (December 2006), Black Stork, Great White Egret and Lesser Yellowlegs have all been recorded.

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