Pond Dipping at Maidendale Nature & Fishing Reserve, Darlington

With all this lovely weather lately we decided to pop out after school to one of Darlington’s six nature reserves. After the little holiday to Haven and the pond dipping we did there the girls were keen to go again somewhere local. So armed with some great little extend-able poled nets purchased at Scarborough we set off to Maidendale nature & fishing reserve, I found the easiest way to get parked relatively close was to park along side the Cummins building on Salters Lane just off the round about on Yarm Road. There are a few lorry’s who use it as a night stop parking I think but still plenty of space to get parked. It’s then just a short walk along a wooded path to an entrance into the reserve.

With a huge boulder with a metal plaque giving you a hint of what you may spot whilst visiting the girls were super excited to get near the ponds, they didn’t have to go far. Just ahead a large pond with a walkway all the way around, the girls was incredibly lucky and we managed to get a spot and catch a newt in minutes we carefully put it into the bucket we took along so that we could get a closer look, it was fascinating to see the newt and let the girls learn a little more about the wildlife we have in the U.K. explaining the importance of making sure we release it back in to the water gently and that some are endangered species.

We carried on looking around and I was surprised by the size of the nature reserve lots of walkways and ponds to explore, I was a little sad to see a trolley had been dumped into one of the ponds though. Another pond was brimming with tadpoles and snails the girls thought it was fantastic seeing so many and the girls thoroughly enjoyed pond dipping trying to work out the different names of everything they caught in their net. Little bridges to cross, wooden walkways, pond dipping stations and lots of space to explore it’s great, Willow really enjoyed clambering sculpture hill too where she enjoyed the view over the ponds. The site is pushchair friendly.

We spent around an hour here well worth a visit to encourage the kids out exploring nature, I plan to visit all of the nature reserves in Darlington and give you a little idea of what to expect, and hopefully encourage you to visit and support them.

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