A legendary urban pond in great need of protection
Backworth Pond was once a prime birding site, rich in waders, especially during the autumn; that was popular with local birders. Over the past twenty-five years, the bulrushes etc. have expanded their range and changed the habitat enormously. The pond sits on private land, where there is no access or birding hides, however visitors can view the pond from nearby public paths, which can be accessed via the adjacent dog kennels. The paths are not well maintained and nearby shrubs and trees often can be overgrown to the extent that they at times need to be brushed out of the way when passing. The dogs from the kennels can be noisy, as you make your way to the pond.
Backworth Pond and the surrounding wetland/farmland remains an important habitat for birds and the site continues to attract a fair variety over the seasons. It would be great to see this once flagship site in any birders calendar restored to its original condition. Nearby housing has been expanding extensively over the past decade but the pond still continues to be surrounded by farmland/former industrial land.
The pond is home to Wildfowl such as Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck and Wigeon. During the winter, Whooper Swan’s have also been recorded. Waders continue to visit, especially when the neighbouring fields are flooded and some years Jack Snipe can be found.
Highlights have included a Red-necked Phalarope in 2012 and a Green-winged Teal in 2016. During the winter months Bean and White-fronted Geese can be found in the area if you are lucky.
“On the 30th May 1990 a Scarlet Rosefinch was found by one very lucky birder.”
Sites close to Backworth Pond
Tyne & Wear, North Tyneside.
NZ 307 724
There is public access along a path, adjacent to Holywest Kennels. The path can be muddy, so it is advisable to wear suitable footwear.
The nearest public toilets are at the Rising Sun Centre or Seaton Delaval.
There are shops in Shiremoor and Backworth.
There is space for a few cars to park to the side of Church Road, close to Holywest Kennels.