Farnley Hall Fishpond was declared a Local Nature Reserve in 2004, but the pond was originally dug in the early 19th century, following the end of the Napoleonic wars to provide employment for the returning troops. Nowadays, the pond is surrounded by a small but mature broad-leaved woodland, and the whole site is a haven for wildlife.
The woodland is dominated by beech and sycamore, but elm is still present, as is ash, hawthorn and holly. It is not, however, just the living trees that are important – dead trees, fallen timber and decomposing leaves all provide shelter and food for a wealth of species including woodlice, millipedes, beetles and fungi. These, in turn, are food for many other creatures including small mammals and birds such as blackbird and great spotted woodpecker.
The pond provides a watery home for a number of species. Mallard, coot and moorhen are all regular visitors, whilst below the surface there are aquatic mini-beasts, including greater and lesser water boatman, great diving beetle and water leech. In spring the mating calls of common frog can be heard followed a few weeks later by those of the common toad.
If you are visiting Farnley Hall Fishpond with a push chair or are a wheelchair user you can access the circular path surrounding the pond via the entrance on Butt Lane - otherwise there is a stepped entrance from Hall Lane.