The site was the first nature reserve of any standing in Teesside, with part of the area designated a bird sanctuary in 1968.
Charlton’s Pond is an area measures eight hectares (20 acres), consisting of wetlands, amenity grassland and woodland.
The Pond, at the rear of Hereford Terrace, Billingham is extremely popular with local anglers and bird watchers and in 2009 won a Green Flag Award for the sixth year running. The ponds cover around 6 hectares and the remainder is taken up by amenity grassland, scrub and poplar/willow woodland. Angling is allowed on the site, the fishing rights being held by the Billingham Angling Club. The remaining section is maintained as a quiet wildlife sanctuary area.
The site began its life at the turn of the 20th Century as an area for clay extraction to make bricks and tiles by the Cowpen Brickworks Company. However, shortly afterwards, the workings became flooded when underground springs were encountered and the pond came into existence.
In 1912 Mr. Jack Charlton and his friend, Major Tristram, leased the area for a period of 20 years for 10 shillings (50 pence) a year and stocked the pond with 250 Loch Leven trout. As the nearby Cowpen estate was being built the local council asked the Dean and Chapter of Durham to fence off the water body to ensure that no child should fall into the water. Instead the pond was offered to the local council, who accepted it as an amenity and put forward ideas to develop the area for recreation and for the site to eventually become Teesside's first nature reserve.
The main entrance and car park can be accessed from Hereford Terrace, off Cowpen Lane, Billingham.
Tel: 01642 415225 Grid Ref: NZ467232