Maidendale LNR is an 8Ha site of former agricultural land, dating from the 1950’s, which includes some remnants of old hedgerows and clay drainage pipes within the clay soil. Today the site is managed as a local nature reserve situated on the south-eastern edge of Darlington.The site is predominantly rough grassland, with a small pond wetland mosaic and two large fishing ponds. It enjoys at least three disabled access entrances and a network of footpaths.
Established in 2002, Maidendale Nature and Fishing Reserve is a conservation and recreation facility. It was created to encourage, promote and enhance sustainable recreation, nature conservation and education in Darlington as well as the North East of England for the benefit of all.
The site does suffer some anti-social behaviour and so we didn’t want to fill it with GRP Interpretation Panels. Instead we came up with a suite of Discreet Interpretation in the form of poetry and rocks – with images derived from both the poems and the site. The rocks are also intended as seating and for kids to hop along. Some of the rocks also have small rubbing discs embedded into them.
The artwork included illustration of newts and other wildlife which is now available from: www.wildlifeillustrations.co.uk as well as an aerial illustration of the site.
Brambledown Landscapes did such a good job with the installation despite the torrential (at times) rain.
The site is a wonderful example of how rich in wildlife an urban site can be – we were treated with a kingfisher, mealy redpoll, gooseander, reed bunting as well as goldfinch and other stuff.