Where to explore
As summer becomes a memory and you start to think about wrapping up warm to enjoy the crisp autumn weather, it’s a great time to explore what’s closer to home.
Visit our open spaces, nature reserves and gardens
The park stretches for 26 glorious miles covers wonderful10,000 acres and. There’s loads of great pockets of green space - here’s a few of our highlights:
Want to see the wildlife up close?
Throughout our oepn spaces we have bird hides which offer great viewin of the wildlife. One of our key hides is the Wildlife Discovery Centre. The centre, which has staff and volunteers on hand each day, offers a bird hide, discovery room as well as a tower viewing platform giving 360 degree views over the area. Find out more about the Wildlife Discovery Centre >
Let’s get active
Getting active doesn’t need to be about hitting the gym or pounding the pavements on a run – just moving more, getting out and about exploring or meeting new people can all improve both our physical and mental health.
The park offers some fantastic opportunities to do just that – have a look at our suggestions to help you get more active.
Explore our walking routes: we’ve mapped out some routes, they vary in length and location. The routes give information about surfaces and difficulty so that you can pick one that suits you. Find your route >
Refuel at one of the cafés in the park – check out:
Health and wellbeing activities: the park offers some dedicated sessions to help people get active and stay active – from sensory guided to walks to canoeing or tennis sessions for those over 50. Find out more here >
Sport venues: our venues offers great opportunities to get active, from cycling at Lee Valley VeloPark, watersports at Lee Valley White Water Centre, to a round of golf at Lee Valley Golf Course and not forgetting ice skating, fitness classes and a gym at Lee Valley Ice Centre. There’s also horse riding at Lee Valley Riding Centre, hockey and tennis at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre as well as gyms and athletics at Lee Valley Athletics Centre. Check out our things to do section for some more ideas and prices >
Volunteering: join our band of volunteers who help us with hands on tasks out in our open spaces, working at events and supporting our teams with admin. It’s a great way to meet people and work as part of a team and can build up skills to help getting employment. Have a look at the roles we have available >
Something for the kids
The summer holiday has been and gone and if you’re looking for something to keep them entertained check out:
Our autumn activity sheets
Wildlife Discovery Centre: visit our centre at Fishers Green in River Lee Country Park and take a closer look at the wildlife that make this area their home for the autumn. There’s games to play, curiosity drawers to explore, bird calls to identify and a tower to climb. Find out more >
Autumn’s wildlife highlights
The Lee Valley is an important migration route for birds. In the autumn Terns, Swallows and martins start to disappear as they start their long migrations back to their winter homes. In turn they are replaced with birds coming to overwinter in the park along with occasional rarer species stopping over on their migration routes. East India Dock Basin on the Thames, at the southern end of the River Lee is a good place to look out for these migrating birds.
Our first overwintering Bittern is already back, making an early appearance at Fishers Green in River Lee Country Park during July. Other birds will join it soon, the best places to see them are in reedbeds at the Wildlife Discovery Centre at Fishers Green, Amwell Nature Reserve and RSPB Rye Meads.
Flocks of Fieldfare and Redwing return in autumn when they can be seen searching for grubs in fields at the farm or making the most of the berry-laden trees.
Shallow pools and muddy waterside edges provide perfect feeding grounds for waders. Alongside commoner species including Green Sandpiper and Redshank more unusual visitors such as Wood Sandpiper or Black-tailed Godwit may turn up. Cornmill Meadows, Amwell Nature Reserve, Walthamstow Wetlands and the banks of the Lee at Bow Creek Ecology Park are good places to look for these birds.
The lakes are important for wintering wildlfowl in particular Gadwall and Shoveler, whose numbers will start to swell as winter approaches.
Some of our later dragonflies are still flying in early autumn. Look out for the Brown Hawker with its brown-tinged wings or bright red Common Darter at sites like Cornmill Meadows or Amwell Nature Reserve.
Holyfield Hall Farm is a great viewpoint for larger migrant birds moving along the ridge of Epping Forest. Brambling can often be seen amongst flocks of Chaffinch enjoying the seed mixes planted around the field edges, while other migrating birds such as Wheatear may be spotted feeding along track edges.
Ivy comes into flower in autumn providing an important late nectar source for many of our pollinators including bees, hoverflies and Red Admiral Butterflies.
On warm autumn nights bats can still be seen flying around dusk feeding up before heading into hibernation over winter