Spa Ponds Heritage Project: Celebrating 700 years of history

Thanks to all who took part in the project. The Heritage Management Plan and appendices are available from:

Project overview

Lorraine and Rose stood in front of a project display board.
Laine and Rose letting folk know about the project at the Forest Town Craft Market in November 2016. Photo by Dennis Platts released under CC BY-NC

Spa Ponds Nature Reserve is owned and managed by the Forest Town Nature Conservation Group (FTNCG), and is open to the public at all times.

This year-long project focusing on the heritage of Spa Ponds (also known as ‘Gara Ponds’) is taking place 700 years after the creation of the medieval fish ponds.

The Heritage Management Plan produced as part of this project will guide FTNCG’s management Spa Ponds, complementing our existing Ecology Management Plan.

Map of Spa Ponds Nature Reservation
Map of Spa Ponds Nature Reserve (present day)

The project will provide participants with training and guidance from historians and community archaeologists, including MBArchaeology.

To better appreciate Spa Ponds’ heritage value, participants will develop an understanding of the basics of archaeological and historical research and landscape fieldwork, and will explore written records in archives, libraries and museums.

We will also gather memories, photographs and artefacts of the site, including through the project’s Oral Histories element.

The Forest Town Nature Conservation Group received a Heritage Lottery Fund Sharing Heritage grant of £8,500 to help us pay for this project

Matt Beresford introducing the project to FTNCG members
Matt Beresford of MBArchaeology talking to FTNCG members in November 2016. Photo taken by Shlomo Dowen and released under the CC BY-NC 3.0 license.

Experts will provide mentoring support and deliver about a dozen workshops and training sessions in 2017 covering:

  • Trees and Natural Heritage (May/June)
  • Landscape Surveying (June)
  • Day School exploring the Mediaeval Landscape of Sherwood (7 July)
  • How to Present Findings (September)

Click here for a more detailed description of project

Click here for more details about the training opportunities

News and updates

Account of 7th July 2017 Mediaeval Landscape Day School

On Friday 7th July 2017 James Wright delivered 'Kings, Knights and Knaves of Clipstone - A Day School Exploring The Mediaeval Landscape of Sherwood'. Read More »

Account of 17th June 2017 Reading the Landscape Workshop

On Saturday 17th June 2017 Stephen Walker delivered the Reading the Landscape Workshop for the Spa Ponds Heritage Project. Shlomo and Josh’s account of the day is below: To help us think at a ‘landscape scale’ Stephen began by introducing Read More »

Community Archaeology at Spa Ponds - Book your place today!

The Spa Ponds Heritage Project is very excited to announce arrangements for Community Archaeology to take place at Spa Ponds. Thanks to our Heritage Lottery Fund grant we are able to offer all of these activities free of charge! Read More »

Event on 1st April to share memories of Gara Ponds

Please come along and bring some friends to the special session arranged for Saturday 1st April at the Flint Avenue Community Centre where photographs and memories of Gara Ponds will be discussed. Read More »
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See diary dates for the whole project

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