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What is Joe’s Pond?

Joe’s Pond is as simple as it sounds, it’s a pond belonging to a man named Joe! Originally, the pond was a clay pit that was flooded and then taken over by Joe. Now Durham Wildlife Trust help to manage the reserve as it’s a place of special scientific interest! Adjacent to Joe’s Pond is Rainton Meadows, another gorgeous and rich nature reserve.

Typically, the best time of year to visit Joe’s Pond is March-September

Wildlife at Joe’s Pond

The pond is an excellent habitat for lots of wildlife! The pond itself is relatively deep and fringed with areas of rich herb fen and reed swamp. This makes a great habitat for oodles of invertebrates such as the water scorpion! Not only this but the pond is also home to 6 species of stunning dragonflies and damselflies. Other insects also live here, such as great pond snails and water spiders. The pond is also home to awesome amphibians such as the common toad, smooth newts and frogs! Small mammals such as the water shrew also live at Joe’s Pond. Several species of orchid can also be found around the pond, it truly has a diverse ecosystem!

Due to the pond’s rich wildlife, lots of birds also frequent the pond. In totally, 140 species of birds have been recorded at the reserve! Some of these species include:

  • Long-eared owls
  • Tufted ducks
  • Mute swans
  • Common teals
  • Great crested grebes

The pond is brilliant for birdwatching, so why not come along and see what you can spot!

Dogs can visit the reserve, but to help protect the wildlife, keep your furry friend on a lead!

Accessibility and facilities

Not only is Joe’s Pond have a brilliant and rich eco-system, but it also has great accessibility! The terrain is easy, making the paths usable for wheelchair and pushchair users. Not only this but there’s a raised boardwalk around the pond which is suitable for all mobilities.

Facilities at the reserve:

  • Visitor’s centre
  • Picnic area
  • Baby changing area
  • Toilets
  • Accessible toilets

Access and parking

Parking is available at Rainton Meadows for a small donation of £2.50 for non-Trust members. From here, it is a short walk to Joe’s Pond, just follow the waymarked paths! The pond itself is open 24hrs, however, the reserve gates are open 9:30 am-4:30 pm, meaning parking is only accessible during this period. The visitor’s centre is also open 10 am – 4 pm.

Q How do I get there?

If you're travelling by car, Joe's Pond is 1 mile south-west of Houghton-le-Spring which is west of the A690. If you travel from the B1284 between Chilton Moor and Great Lumley, follow Mallard Way to the Rainton Meadows' visitor centre car park.

If you're travelling by bus, the Sunderland Durham buses stop at Rainton Bride Business Park. The reserve is then only a short walk away.

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