Wollaton - Martin's Pond
w/e 08 May 2011
All this week's pictures were taken
with a Kodak DX6490
It sounds highly improbable
for there to be a quiet and peaceful Nature Reserve just yards
from the main road through Wollaton into Nottingham and only
three miles from the city centre but Martin's Pond is just that.
Situated at the rear of Russell Drive a gate leads off Russell
Avenue into the site (left) where an information board includes
among other details a map of the site (right). A larger scale
map can be seen on the City Council website - click here to view in a new window.
It's so quiet here that even the ducks can enjoy a mid afternoon
siesta at the water's edge with little fear of being disturbed
although one had taken up a position partly hidden from prying
eyes. As they were also close to the edge of the path around
the Nature Reserve within easy view of passers-by it would not
be unreasonable to refer to them as sitting ducks!
The Reserve boasts a large variety of habitats and includes extensive
reed beds some of which were visible on the other side of the
pond from the eastern path that we followed.
This eastern side of the pond has a number of fishing platforms
that provide easy access for wheelchairs so that disabled anglers
can enjoy their sport and a wide well maintained path all around
the pond also caters well for disabled visitors. About halfway
along the eastern side the path passes through a tunnel -like
section before turning to run along the northern boundary.
The scenery along the northern boundary is entirely different
as the path passes through a wooded area. A narrow stretch of
standing water separates the path from an island in the pond
and the green of the dense undergrowth is broken only by a splash
of blue from a few bluebells. This part of the site also features
areas of swamp, fen and marsh land and the whole site is managed
by Nottingham City Council who regularly monitor the water quality.
The site is roughly triangular in shape and turning to complete
the circuit along the south-western leg, the path crosses a spring
which feeds into the pond by means of this bridge.
The Nature Reserve has twice won a coveted Green Flag Award for being one of the the
best green spaces in the country and no doubt the raised boardwalk
between the path and the island has contributed to this as it
enables closer inspection and study of the Lesser Reedmace, a
very rare plant within the city's boundaries. A second information
board tells of "The importance of urban wetlands",
gives tips on "Pond Dipping" and also details about
other plants that can be seen from the boardwalk that was constructed
Martin's Pond was the first site in Nottingham to be designated
as a Nature Reserve as long ago as 1976 and it is now also recognised
as a Site of Importance to Nature Conservation (SINC).
As we completed the circuit around the site we returned to the
open water of the pond. The origins of the pond are lost in the
mists of time but it was in existence and shown on a map in 1835
and earlier references to a fishpond in the area could also have
been referring to what is now called Martin's Pond. It is now
thought that the pond was part of the Middleton Estate which
included Wollaton Hall and was here in the mid 1700s. Despite
the appearance of this image it was just a few steps to the right,
through a gate and we were back in an urban landscape close to
that main road into Nottingham.