Wollaton - Martin's Pond
w/e 08 May 2011
All this week's pictures were taken with a Kodak DX6490

Martin's Pond

Martin's Pond entrance to Nature ReserveMap of site.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.
Sleeping Ducks

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!
Reed Beds

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.

Tunnel-like Path

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 in 2004.

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).
Open Water

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.

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