Pennytown Ponds Local Nature Reserve

Welcome to the beautiful award winning Pennytown Ponds Local Nature Reserve.

Pennytown Ponds is used daily by residents and local workers who enjoy walking, exercising their dogs and fishing.  A place where children can use their imaginations as they wonder through the open natural area.

The Ponds are also used by local groups for historical walks, natural history events and environmental volunteer days. 

When is it open?

The Ponds have open access and is available to the public 365 days a year.

History of the site

Pennytown Ponds has been an open area since the 14th century and was once part of a much larger park known as Cotes Park. The name Pennytown was derived from a small hamlet in this area where the residents paid one silver penny as rent.

The Cotes Parkland was sold off in small plots during the nineteenth century when the area was being mined for coal and ironstone. Three of the ponds were constructed during the nineteenth century as a result of mining operations, but it is thought that pond 3 is considerably older.

In 1942 the area was re-landscaped for public use by Italian prisoners of war and subsequently became very popular for walking and picnicking. The creation of Cotes Park Industrial Estate in the 1970s has isolated the ponds beca within an industrial and residential landscape. They fell into disuse and decay and suffered from pollution.

In the late 1980’s the Borough Council improved the ponds, which encouraged angling, walking and horse riding, there is an active friends group who have raised funds in partnership with Palmer Morewood Angling Club to install new paths and fishing pegs, the Borough Council have also improved the infrastructure and work with the Environment Agency to combat pollution.


The ponds become larger as they flow down the valley.

Pond 1 – is at the head of the brook, and is inaccessible and mainly a willow carr.

Pond 2 – has a body of open water, but this pond is not fished and is a haven for wildlife.

Pond 3 – is licensed to the fishing club, they do not fish this pond.

Pond 4 – This is the main angling pond and holds a good stock of fish, the angling club hold regular competitions on this pond.

Three ponds are a major feature of this site and are enjoyed by all members of the public.

Woodland Habitats – this has developed predominantly over spoil heaps. The canopy consists of planted Pine with multi-stemmed Ash, occasional Sycamore and Willows in wetter areas, pedunculate Oak and mature beech including fine coppiced beech.

Grassland Meadow Habitats – there are small open grass glades which hold a diverse selection of wild flowers including orchids which can be found in May on the sunny banks.

Access / location

The site can be accessed from Birchwood Lane at two locations, the most obvious entrance is at the bottom next to pond 4.


The park is available for events. For more information please contact Landscape Services on 01773 841562.

No events currently scheduled.

Site management

The site is owned by Amber Valley Borough Council, the maintenance is carried out through a service level agreement with Groundwork Trust, in partnership with the Friends group and angling club.

If you are interested in helping the Friends of Pennytown Ponds you should contact Somercotes Parish Council on 01773 603810 or email

Responsible use of the site

The Borough Council are always keen to promote positive use of the site and a good park user guide is visible at all entrances to the park.

For further information please contact Landscape Services on 01773 841570.


Pennytown Ponds 1

Pennytown Ponds 2

Pennytown Ponds 3 

Contact Details
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