History of

Photographs courtesy of Nottingham Post

Gedling Country Park

The site as a colliery

Based three miles to the east of Nottingham, Gedling Colliery was the life blood of Gedling and many surrounding villages.

In 1899, work started on this site to create Gedling Colliery, driven by the huge demand for coal, which was needed for domestic heating, cooking, to fire industrial furnaces, steam engines and to generate electricity. The pit shafts were sunk in 1900. In 1902 coal production started and this continued until 8 November 1991, when the colliery was closed.

At its peak after WW2, Gedling Colliery employed over 2,000 people and produced over a million tonnes of coal per year. It became known as the “Pit of Nations” because of the diversity of the miners, drawn from over 15 different countries.

The colliery was originally owned by the Digby Colliery Company who merged with Bestwood Company to become Bestwood Amalgamated Collieries Ltd. Nationalisation in 1947 turned it into the National Coal Board East Midlands No.6 Area and subsequently into the National Coal Board South Nottinghamshire Area from 1967.

After World War II Gedling became a receiving pit fr many migrant miners from around the world and became known a ‘the pit of nations’.

130 men lost their lives at Gedling Colliery. The memorial garden in the park is dedicated to their memory.

From colliery to country park

After the pit closed the mining infrastructure was removed and the land underwent major restoration works including tree planting and re-profiling the lagoons to allow a wider diversity of wildlife to inhabit the park.

The site has a great variety of habitats including grasslands, woodlands, wetlands and lagoons and nature has taken over the park. Notable species of fauna including short eared owls, skylarks, lapwings and rare butterflies are amongst others that have inhabited the land, making the area extremely important for wildlife.

Work began to create a new country park in February 2014, including installing footpaths, making safe the old colliery drainage works, putting in new boundary fencing and building an access road and car park from Spring Lane.

This was followed by building a play area and a café that has everything you need after a long walk around the park. Both incorporate the site’s mining heritage

Green energy and conservation

Gedling Country Park is a unique site within Nottinghamshire. Since 1899 the land has been used for producing energy, historically fossil fuels and now it boosts its green credentials by producing solar power and methane gas.

Coal mine methane is a gas released during the mining process when coal is extracted. Since the colliery closed, the gas has remained trapped underground. By extracting the gas on the south side of the park, the effect of methane emitted into the atmosphere is minimised. The gas is extracted using vacuum pumps and delivered to the National Grid, powering 3,600 homes per day.

The solar panel farm on the east tip of the spoil heap generates 5.74mw, which is enough energy to power approximately 1,700 homes with its 23,000 panels.
The park is now home to an abundance of important wildlife species  and it is Gedling Borough Council’s aim to conserve and enhance the wildlife, as well as providing a country park for all to enjoy.

You can learn more about the history of the area at the Gedling Heritage website.

solar panels