Celebrate World Animal Day 2021

    04 October 2021

    On the 4th October we celebrate an international appreciation for animals – World Animal Day. While it may seem that other countries are blessed with rich wildlife, we hope that some of our readers have found happiness in witnessing the wonderful animals that call our parks home.

    Believe it or not, the UK was not always this seemingly barren landscape of farmland but a haven for wildlife of all kinds. Since the 1500s, we have lost 133 species on our islands, and 41% of all remaining species have declined since the 1970s. It’s obvious to say that we are in an ecological crisis in the UK – but it’s not too late to reverse it! And that is why celebrating World Animal Day is so important.

    From our largest mammals like deer and whales, to the smallest underappreciated insects like weevils and aphids, every animal is important. All wildlife is impacted by human activity, destruction and attitudes. But equally, all can be saved by our hope, passion and determination.

    So, what can you do?

    Our lives are filled with so many opportunities to make noise, create waves and encourage change. Start small and make your own personal challenges – whether that’s to get involved in a local volunteer group or simply share a petition. Remember not to feel overwhelmed by the many issues that there are to deal with. If the whole human population cared passionately about one conservation issue each, then eventually we could solve all our problems.

    And what are The Parks Trust doing?

    With a dedicated team of biodiversity officers, landscape managers and community engagement staff, we have a multidimensional model to dealing with wildlife decline. Firstly, we record and monitor all habitats under our care, searching critically for endangered and scarce species. Secondly, we protect and manage these habitats to both encourage survival and growth of populations. And equally important, is our scheme to engage with local people and communicate the importance of our work. Not only do we inform, but we take feedback from the public and put comments to use in our management plans. You can even get involved with our work by becoming a volunteer, coming along to our annual public meetings, and supporting our team by attending events.

    This World Animal Day, try to do something positive for the incredible species that live in our local parks. Learn about a new species, go on a walk, sign a petition, or simply read a book about animals. Every step to increasing our population’s appreciation of animals is a positive one!

    Celebrate #WorldAnimalDay with us by sharing photos of animals you have seen in Milton Keynes’ parks with us on social media by tagging @TheParksTrust.

      Discover our parks

      • Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve


        Floodplain - Park Image.jpg

        Set within Ouse Valley Park, the Floodplain Forest is the newest nature reserve in Milton Keynes and the most impressive wildlife habitat creation scheme in the city’s history.

      • Howe Park Wood


        Howe Park Wood - park.jpg

        Howe Park Wood is an ancient woodland in the south west of Milton Keynes near Westcroft and Tattenhoe which boasts a rich variety of wildlife and fantastic on site facilities including toilets, a café and a small play area.

      • Ouzel Valley Park


        Ouzel Valley Park - park.jpg

        The Ouzel Valley Park meanders from Caldecotte Lake in the south to Willen Lake in the north. The park has a spacious, open atmosphere with long views. Much of the land is farmed by The Parks Trust rearing our own cattle and sheep, between the livestock you can still see the remnants of an old field system with the ridge and furrow still visible. Incorporating the historic villages of Woolstone and Woughton, the park is bordered on its western side by the Grand Union Canal.

      • Ouse Valley Park


        D81_3402Ouse Valley Park park.jpg

        The Ouse Valley Park lies in the floodplain of the Great Ouse which flows from Oxfordshire to the Wash. The park is the most rural of any found in Milton Keynes and is a great place to go to experience the feeling of the countryside without leaving the city. Old trees, hedgerows, meadows, and new plantations combine to provide excellent habitats for wildlife.

      • Willen Lake North


        Willen Lake North  - Park Image.jpg

        Willen Lake North is home to one of Milton Keynes’ best-known landmarks, the first Peace Pagoda to be built in the western world - and to a rich and varied bird population.

      • Stony Stratford Nature Reserve


        D81_3375Pool on edge of SS Nature Reserve park.jpg

        In 2008 with support from the Riverside Parks Group, work began to re-establish Stony Stratford Nature Reserve as a major local wildlife park. Parties of volunteers have cleared islands of scrub allowing Wildfowl to nest. There are also renovated and painted bird hides and the ponds have been cleared of invasive vegetation as well as the restoration of a sand martin nest bank, which has enabled Kingfishers to nest successfully.

      • We have received the Green Flag Award for our entire network of parks for the fifth year in a row!
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