Posted on: March 13th 2024

Discovering a Hidden Oasis at Cody Dock Nature Reserve

LAE's Nature and Happiness Club were delighted to be taken on a birdwatching tour, led by enthusiastic guide Evie, through the pockets of thriving wildlife at Cody Dock nature reserve, a relatively new wildlife haven created from an abandoned dock on the River Lea.Cody Dock Map scaled

The river itself is an important wildlife corridor connecting fragmented habitats that allow animals to move between them.  Here, ancient reed beds provide a natural habitat for a wide variety of birds, insects and other animals.  Students learned how places like Cody Dock can be vitally important for the survival of many species, allowing them to find food, mates, and new territory. 

"It was incredible to see so much nature thriving right in the middle of an industrial area," remarked one of our students. "It really makes you appreciate the hidden gems we have in London."

Club members were treated to sightings of three different gull species, graceful teals, familiar mallards, moorhens with their distinctive red beaks, and a variety of charming garden birds.  Our wonderful guide Evie, not only helped students identify birds but also shared some fascinating facts about the ecosystem. Even the empty clam shells scattered along the banks provided evidence of non-native species such as the Asian clam which has become a tasty snack for the resident gulls. 

Our visit to Cody Dock wasn't solely about birdwatching but also served to highlight the dedication of the LAE community towards environmental conservation as several students regularly volunteer at the reserve, contributing their time and effort to its upkeep.

This trip provided the Nature and Happiness Club with a refreshing escape from London's urban sprawl; a chance to connect with nature; and a reminder that even within a concrete industrialised cityscape, green spaces can flourish. Perhaps it sparked an interest in more students to follow in the footsteps of their fellow LAE volunteers and become guardians of this urban oasis.