On a cloudy day in September I decided to explore one of Nottingham’s hidden areas, Martin’s Pond. I only became aware of its existence recently, even though it is very close to Wollaton Hall, as it is tucked away in a residential area. What I discovered on my wanderings though, was that Martin’s Pond is linked by a trail with Harrison’s Plantation, which in turn leads on to Raleigh Pond, hence putting them together in one post.
I learned that Martin’s Pond was the first site in Nottingham to be named a Local Nature Reserve, in 1976. It used to be the fish pond of the original Wollaton Hall and in those days would have actually been inside the Hall’s grounds.
Apparently its name may come from nothing more significant than the area used to be farmed by a Mr Martin. I was surprised by the size of the pond and there was plenty of wildlife on display from squirrels, dragonflies, swans and ducks. It is also used for fishing, as indeed a couple of gentlemen were doing when I visited.
I walked clockwise around the pond, so I didn’t encounter the trail to Harrison’s Plantation until I was back near the entrance to Martin’s Pond. Curious, I decided I may as well see where this lead me now that I was there.
There has apparently been woodland on this site since the 18th century and it made for some very pleasant scenery to walk through.
I haven’t been able to gather how Harrison’s Plantation came by its name but it is likely to be connected with the same fishing history as Martin’s Pond.
Continuing through the Plantation I then crossed a path and entered the area of the Plantation around Raleigh’s Pond. This is thought to have been a former clay pit but now is home to Canada geese and breeding mallards, though none were in evidence on my visit.