How to get to Spa Ponds
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The reserve lies about half-a-mile NW of New Clipstone. Access to the site is via the public footpath from Clipstone Drive, Forest Town. If using satnav. enter NG19 0HS and follow the preceding instructions. There is no car park, but parking is available on nearby streets. The ponds are reached by a bridleway (Packman’s Way).
This 4.6 hectare wetland reserve was managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust under a licence from its previous owners for around thirty years before the site was put on to the market by its owners in 2012. It was purchased by local charity Forest Town Nature Conservation Group and is now managed by the Group with support and advice from the Wildlife Trust.
The site has a mix of habitats including dry acidic grassland and woodland, but its main feature is a series of ponds fed by a spring. Ponds are a rare feature on the Sherwood Sandstone and three of the ponds are medieval in origin, adding to the site’s interest. The River Maun runs close by.
Wetland plants include brooklime, skullcap, yellow iris and gypsywort, whilst the woodland areas are dominated by oak and ash, with alder and sallow growing close to the water’s edge.
The reserve is an important site for dragonflies, butterflies and other invertebrates and additional surveying for these species is a key focus for the future. Kingfisher and little grebe are amongst the birds recorded whilst the neighbouring Garibaldi Plantation is home to birds such as coal tit and goldcrest. For more information about the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group visit www.foresttown.net/nature
The reserve is open to the public at all times, but visitors are asked to keep to the footpaths.