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, England. Around half of the country 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, "Arts in the Park" and "Blackburn with Darwen Mela", take 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. Also many other events take place throughout the day, which usually ends with a set performed by an orchestra. 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 the Feilden family. In 1946 Robert Edward Hart, a local philanthropist, gave £35,000 anonymously towards the purchase of the park (total purchase price £64,000) for the benefit of Blackburn townspeople. He died shortly afterwards and is buried in St Peter's graveyard Salesbury. The donor's identity was later revealed.
There are a variety of walks within the park including a six-mile (10 km) perimeter hike.
Witton parkrun, a weekly 5k run started in August 2015.