Spotting spooky scarecrows: a Halloween trail at Black Park

During half-term we headed to Black Park to take part in their Halloween trail. Sophie and I had arranged to meet up with her friend F and his mummy. Black Park was the perfect place to meet, especially with the trail taking place.

 

Sophie and her friend F next to a skeleton scarecrow at Black Park - "Spotting spooky scarecrows - a Halloween trail at Black Park"

 

For this year’s Halloween trail, we had to find ten spooky scarecrows, write down the letter found at each one and then rearrange the letters to make a word.

 

Sophie next to the pumpkin head scarecrow

 

One of the things I love about the trails at Black Park is the information on the boards at each point on the trail. I always seem to learn something new along the way. The first scarecrow we found had a carved pumpkin for a head. The information board shared the story of the origins of carving jack o’ lanterns from pumpkins. This tradition stems from an Irish myth about a man called Stingy Jack who tricked the Devil. When Jack died, God wouldn’t let him into heaven and the Devil wouldn’t let him into Hell. Instead his soul was condemned to roam the earth. Irish people carved demonic faces in turnips to frighten away Jack’s soul. When Irish immigrants arrived in the USA, they started carving the faces in pumpkins instead.

 

The information board sharing the story of the origins of pumpkin carving

 

Each scarecrow was very different. Some of them, like the witch scarecrow, weren’t too scary. Others were much creepier. The creepy clown one was quite sinister. I was quite glad to move on quickly from that one!

 

Sophie standing in front of the witch scarecrow

The creepy clown scarecrow

 

Black Park is a wonderful place for imaginative play. Sophie and I often look out for fairy holes in the trees and pick up “elf hats” (acorn cups) to leave next to them. The imaginative play that the woods could offer was more appealing than the trail at the halfway point. Sophie and F were having a wonderful time playing hide and seek, throwing leaves and chasing each other through the trees.

 

F chasing Sophie through the trees

 

A log became a train, a bed and then a shop counter. Leaf-covered Branches were sticks for toasting marshmallows or dinosaur claws. Sophie and F spent ages going from one imaginary scenario to another. They were having the most wonderful time. It was lovely to watch them using their imaginations and having so much fun.

 

Sophie and F playing shops across a log

 

Sophie and F sitting on a log and chatting

 

It was quite some time before they were ready to get back to hunting scarecrows and finishing off the trail. We found the last few and rearranged the letters to form the word “spiderwebs”

 

Sophie standing next to a vampire scarecrow

Sophie and F next to the werewolf scarecrow

 

Sophie and F couldn’t resist a trip to the playground on the way back. I loved watching her pushing F on the swings.

 

Sophie pushing F on the swing

 

We stopped off at the café for ice cream before handing in our trail sheets back at the visitor centre. Sophie and F both received a small packet of sweets for taking part.

 

Our walk back around the lake towards the car park took us past the model boat enthusiasts sailing their boats on the lake. Sophie and F enjoyed looking at all the different boats.

 

Sophie and F watching the model boats on the lake

 

Black Park is always a favourite day out. It’s a beautiful place for a walk whether there is a trail to follow or not and it was so lovely to see just how much fun could be had in the woods with a little imagination.

 

Visiting Black Park – what you need to know:

Address:

Black Park Country Park
Black Park Road
Wexham
SL3 6DS

There is a large pay and display car park.

 

Opening times:

The park is open from 8am each day. Closing times vary throughout the year with the park closing at 5pm from late October – early February and 8pm in the summer months. For more details, click here.

 

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14 Comments

  1. November 6, 2018 / 10:34 am

    We don’t really have park’s like this around here. It’s such a shame as it looks like Sophie had a great day. We went on a Ghost hunt around a national trust place. Never tried carving a turnip, but if how hard it is to cut up for cooking is anything to go by – I don’t think it would be very easy lol

    xxx

    • Louise
      Author
      November 6, 2018 / 1:14 pm

      It’s a shame you don’t have parks like this although you have some stunning scenery in your part of the country to make up for it! I can’t imagine carving a turnip is very easy either!

  2. November 7, 2018 / 1:01 pm

    Oh this looks like a lovely day out! I didn’t know that about the history of pumpkin carving either! And that clown was a bit spooky! Glad Sophie and her friend had fun.
    Nat.x

    • Louise
      Author
      November 7, 2018 / 8:28 pm

      It was fun, but yes that clown was quite spooky!

  3. November 9, 2018 / 11:55 pm

    What a handy park to have not too far from home. Looks like they went to quite an effort with their Halloween trail. The scarecrows look varied, fun and not too scary. Even better there is plenty of chance for a little creative play along the way. #CountryKids

    • Louise
      Author
      November 10, 2018 / 9:54 am

      The creative outdoor play was definitely my favourite part of the day 🙂

  4. November 10, 2018 / 8:24 am

    My girls are sadly getting a bit old for park trails like this, but it does actually look like they would have enjoyed that. Loved learning about Stingy Jack – every day’s a school day #CountryKids

    • Louise
      Author
      November 10, 2018 / 9:56 am

      I do love how you often learn things doing trails like this 🙂

  5. What fun they had!!! We did a somewhat similar Easter trail in April, here in Ireland, looking for clues around Castlecomer Discovery Park to earn a reward at the end.
    Halloween did endeed originate in Ireland, although there are different versions of the myth. The most common one has to do with Samhain (or Halloween) being the one night of the year when the real world and the spirit world join up. Which means spirits are roaming the Earth, so people took to wearing masks and carving turnips to scare them away.
    #CountryKids

    • Louise
      Author
      November 14, 2018 / 9:54 am

      Oh that is interesting to know. I love learning more about the myths behind some of the traditions.

    • Louise
      Author
      November 14, 2018 / 9:56 am

      It is a lovely place to explore.

  6. November 13, 2018 / 3:10 pm

    This reminded me of a Halloween geocaching event we used to go to prior to the arrival of our and their kids when it came to a sad end. It’s always great to see people’s imaginations at play from creating scarecrows to picturing acorn cups as hats. #CountryKids

    • Louise
      Author
      November 14, 2018 / 9:57 am

      I love watching children using their imaginations outdoors 🙂

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