Witton Country Park
|Witton Country Park|
Witton Park Country Park Visitors Centre
|Location||Blackburn, Lancashire, England|
|Area||480 acres (190 ha)|
|Operated by||Blackburn with Darwen Council|
|Open||Open all year|
Witton Country Park is a 480 acre (1.9 km²) public park in the west of Blackburn, Lancashire. Around half of the park is mixed woodland and parkland, while the rest is either farmland or rough grassland with open access. A visitors' centre features stables with exhibitions of old horse-drawn farm machinery, farm hand-tools and a natural history room. A mammal centre houses shrews, voles, ferrets, rabbits and other animals, which are on display.
Each year, two events, namely "Arts in the Park" and "Blackburn with Darwen Mela" takes place. These events formerly took place in Corporation Park, but moved to Witton Park in 2005. "Arts in the Park" sees local bands playing, as well as more famous acts such as Liberty X and Rolf Harris. Also many other events take place throughout the day, which is usually ended with a set performed by an orchestra. Both events were cancelled in 2007 after torrential rain, and replaced by indoor events. The park is also the venue for the annual Blackburn Race for Life charity fundraising event.
The park is the location of a secondary school, Witton Park Business and Enterprise College. The area now covered by the park was formerly owned by a distinguished local family, surnamed Feilden. In 1946 a local philanthropist Robert Edward Hart gave £35,000 anonymously towards the purchase of the park (total purchase price £64000) for the benefit of Blackburn townspeople. It later transpired that it was R.E Hart, who died shortly after this act of generosity and is buried in St Peter's graveyard Salesbury-(Hart collection Blackburn museum). The park is watered by the River Darwen and River Blakewater, the latter flowing into the former within the park.
There are a variety of walks within the park including a six mile perimeter hike which takes approximately four hours to complete.
- Arts in the Park is cancelled, Lancashire Telegraph, 10 July 2007
- raceforlife.org Accessed 2011