Garibaldi Woods - Spa Ponds - Gara Ponds

These photographs taken by Karen Buckley on 22 March 1986 are of Spa Ponds, in the Newlands area of Forest Town. They are better known to some people as ‘Gara Ponds’ in Garibaldi Woods, and will no doubt stir memories of where, as youngsters they used to catch minnows and tadpoles.

There are still fish, tadpoles and other wild life to be discovered at the ponds and it is an enjoyable place to visit.

Today the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, and Forest Town Nature Conservation Group take a keen interest in managing the ponds and surrounding woodland, as can be seen on the pages of Spa Pond Walk (under Nature).

Interest is growing in discovering more of the early history of these ponds which are said to be early mineral springs and Mercian Archaeological Services are a groups taking a keen interest in this.  

References dating back to 1747 are mentioned in the book ’A Celebration of Kings Clipstone’ – Chapter ‘Early Agriculture Park and Pele by Joy Shawe Browne.

Be it 1747 or present day, what are your memories or knowledge of Spa (Gara) Ponds?


Comments about this page

  • Oh memories of a nipper who moved onto Garibaldi Estate when it was being extended in 1961. I recall spending my childhood with my friends playing in the woods and down through the ponds. Wether it was summer or winter we found many things to do in this brilliant environment. From a 10 year old through to a 15 year old my life revolved around the woods and ponds (as did all my friends and most of the youth of Garibaldi) fortunatly there were no computers etc: so we just enjoyed our childhood and lived a very healthy life. Now I am 60 years old and live in Cornwall, but I would love to go back to my childhood, crossing the river Maun on the rope swings. Also blocking up the river Maun and swimming in it in the summer months (not such a good idea in the 60s). Drinking out of the fresh water spring at the top of the first pond. Great memories, my dad and his friend Jack were wardens of the ponds later in their lives.

    By geoffrey Revill (24/08/2015)
  • I remember when I was very young and lived on Carter Lane. I have vivid memories of walking with my aunt and our alsation to Garibaldi through, I seem to remember, a footpath alongside the river Maun then on to Garibaldi and eventually to Mansfield Woodhouse.On some occaisions I have a vivid memories of the tadpoles, a Spring which we always had a drink from and at times we saw a gentleman with a motorcycle practicing going up and down a very steep hill. I was given to understand he was a Champion at that Sport but at the time I was not aware of such a spor. Well I was under 10 years old. I seem to remember going through or past an area known as Guylers and certainly the Sewage works and some Canal or pond like structures at or near the Mansfield Woodhouse end of the footpath. But that of course before the Newlands and other housing developments in that area post war but that was over 70 years ago

    By Malcolm Raynor (22/04/2013)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.