Black Park is a Country Park in Wexham, Buckinghamshire, England to the north of the A412 road between Slough and Iver Heath. It is managed by Buckinghamshire County Council. Covering 530 acres (214 ha) of woodland, heathland and grassland, some areas of which are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest, the park includes an avenue of mature pine trees, an orienteering course, a lake (dug in the 18th century as a reservoir for a local farmer) with a lakeside cafe. Part of it was designated a Local Nature Reserve in 1992. The Country Parks team also manages with wildlife in mind, as the mixed woodland and grassland provides good numbers of bats, woodland birds and invertebrates. Dartford Warblers were known to be breeding here pre-2010 and other notable species on site include starfruit and hobbys.
Black Park is adjacent to Pinewood Film Studios and has been used as an outdoor location for many film and television productions. The woods and lake featured prominently in the Hammer Horror films from the late 1950s to the 1970s, such as Dracula: Prince of Darkness (1966). In these films the location was often used to represent Transylvania. The park has also been used in film productions such as the James Bond film Goldfinger, where it was used for a night car chase scene (actually set in Switzerland and featuring Bond's Aston Martin DB5), and the 2006 version of Casino Royale, plus several Carry On films, Wombling Free, Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Bugsy Malone, the Harry Potter film series', Captain America, Robin Hood, Eden Lake, and the Monty Python film And Now For Something Completely Different. In television, Black Park, together with its lake, was used extensively in location filming for the planet 'Alzarius' in the Doctor Who serial Full Circle (1980).
Recreation and sports
Black Park is popular with walkers and dog owners due to the wide open spaces and well maintained routes. During summer 2010 a 'Go-Ape' activity centre was established in the park with the construction of climbing rigging and zip lines between the trees. The area is properly supervised by park staff during opening hours. The Go Ape team now offers cycle hire as well. Being one of the flattest areas in the region enhances the park's popularity with cyclists and runners alike.
Runners are commonplace within the park and the increase in private persons using the park for exercise/training has led to the establishment of a 'parkrun' event on Saturday mornings. The professionally organised events are free to enter and form part of a network of nationwide parkruns.
Mountain biking is popular in the park as the combination of dense woodland open plains,technical sections and narrow but quick draining trails make for exciting riding. Beyond Black Park XC10 is an annual event organised in conjunction with Black Park staff by West Drayton Mountain Bike Club and Beyond Mountain Bikes of Surrey. The event attracts riders of all ages and skill levels.
The lake is open for fishing during the normal rod licence season, though pre-baiting, keep nets and night fishing are all forbidden.
- Country Parks - Buckinghamshire County Council
- Park structure - Buckinghamshire County Council
- "Black Park". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England.
- "Map of Black Park". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England.
- Wayne Kinsey (2002) Hammer Films: The Bray Studio Years. London: Reynolds and Hearn ISBN 1-903111-44-7
- http://www.parkrun.org.uk/black-park/Home.aspx Park Run Black Park events