The history of the site is long and varied, alternating between nature and human use. The recorded history starts with the hospital of St Nicholas and its associated church when the land was covered in meadows, fields and bits of ancient woodland. Clay extraction started in earnest from 1800s and many local houses were built with the bricks. The vast pits were later filled with rubbish, forcing out great crested newts and pike which enjoyed the temporary ponds. After a successful campaign to transform the former landfill site into an urban nature park, the whole site was capped with a thick layer of clay and replanting started in 1994. Ten years on St Nicks was granted a Local Nature Reserve status. It has since had several Community Green Flag Awards to recognise its importance as a wildlife habitat and local amenity.
Please see the sections on the right to explore different time periods and get in touch if you would like to contribute to our oral history project. We are collecting stories and memories from St Nicks recent history.