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Black Horse Wood

Blackhorse Wood is located off Wolverton Road, close to Stonepit Field and Great Linford Manor Park. The woodland has developed over the past forty years or so on former paddocks that straddled the embankment of the old Wolverton to Newport Pagnell railway line, which ceased being used in the 1960s and now forms the Milton Keynes Railway Walk (adopted foot/horse/cycle path).

The woodland is becoming increasingly valuable for wildlife. It is known to provide habitat for several protected species, notably bats and grass snakes. Bat species known to use the woodland include Brown Long-eared, Soprano Pipistrelle and Daubenton’s. The wood is also valuable for birds including willow warbler, blackcap and chiffchaff, who all nest in the wood. The Spotted Flycatcher, which has undergone a dramatic decline in the UK, is sometimes seen in this wood in late summer, although it is not yet known whether this species breeds here. Tawny owls have been seen, nesting in old crow nests in trees in the wood.

The areas of woodland at the foot of the old railway embankment lie wet and the mature alders trees that grow here attract species such as siskin and redpoll during the winter months, which feed on the seeds in the small cones that grow on these trees. The wet character of the wood, coupled with large quantities of dead wood, means that it is also valuable for fungi and mosses.

As the wood lies on steeply sloping ground and the ground is wet and boggy in places, it is difficult to access. Good views of the wood can be had from the Railway Walk and the towpath of the Grand Union Canal.