The Parks Trust's highlights from 2021

    05 January 2022


    During what has been another unusual year for us all, we have been working hard to maintain our high standards of care for the parks, lakes and woodlands in Milton Keynes. As a self-financing charity, our property and other financial investments pay for the maintenance and improvement of your local parks.

    During 2021, we began a project at Newlands, the park that links Campbell Park to Willen Lake, to create a special place of remembrance. As part of this project, our operations team planted an avenue of 48 lime trees, installed 12 memorial benches and created a wildflower meadow.

    The Parks Trust tree planting schemes continued throughout the year and in March, over 2,000 trees and shrubs were planted at Middleton Wood Meadow. This five-year joint project with Community Trees: MK and Broughton and Milton Keynes Parish council has been designed to enhance an area of Middleton park, improving habitats for wildlife by creating a woodland meadow. More recently, in November, we hosted HM Lord-Lieutenant of Buckinghamshire, The Countess Howe, together with The High Sheriff of Buckinghamshire, George Anson Esq and Mayor of Milton Keynes, Councillor Mohammed Khan, plus students from Giffard Park Primary School, who each planted a tree at Middleton Wood Meadow in dedication to The Queen’s Green Canopy, celebrating the platinum jubilee.

    Excitingly, at the end of June, we opened the brand-new Watersports Centre at Willen Lake. This fully accessible building is now the hub for all water-based activities as well as being home to the new café Benugo Bar & Kitchen. The improvement works included the addition of a new play area, which now completed, is the biggest free to use play ground in Milton Keynes.

    Also, in 2021 a project commenced to restore the nineteenth century Brick Kilns at Great Linford. As these are a scheduled ancient monument with Historic England, we appointed specialist contractors Lang Conservation Ltd who carefully repaired the brick work and ensured the kilns were structurally sound and preserved for future generations.

    In  September of this year, a celebration was held to mark the end of the construction phase of the National Lottery Heritage Fund project at Great Linford Manor Park. This project has seen the ponds transformed, and many of the park’s other historical features that have deteriorated over the years, brought back to life. A new sculptural play trail is also being installed. It was co-developed with local school children who wanted to see more varied options for playing in the park. The new trail will run all the way through the park and features play objects that interpret the heritage of the park through children's eyes.

    For the fifth year in a row The Parks Trust were awarded the Green Flag award for their entire network of parks, remaining the first and only organisation to win the award for a whole-city approach rather than for an individual park. It was also during 2021 that we set out our vision for green infrastructure in Milton Keynes in the new document, ‘Milton Keynes’ Inspirational Landscapes: Now and Forever’. As Milton Keynes expands, we aim to ensure all new areas of the city benefit from the same extent and quality of green space as is found in the established areas, and our plan on doing so is outlined in the document.

    Having not been able to run a full events and outdoor learning programme in 2020, we were thrilled to have been able to run 469 events and 564 outdoor learning activities in 2021. There were a wide and varied range of events from the MK Reggae Festival in Campbell Park to Linford Eats at Great Linford Manor Park, all with high attendance. We also saw a significant growth in its uptake for outdoor learning particularly in its youth explorer and ranger sessions.

    We are looking forward to more exciting projects for 2022 and bringing even more events and activities back to MK’s parks. Keep an eye on our social media and the what's on section of our website for upcoming events!



      Discover our parks

      • Campbell Park

        Facilities:

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        Located at the heart of Milton Keynes, Campbell Park hosts many of Milton Keynes’ major festivals and events. Its imaginative mix of formal gardens, water features, woodland and open pasture mean it’s an ideal spot to enjoy the changing seasons.

      • Middleton

        Facilities:

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        The Parks Trust looks after an area of informal meadows, long grass and ponds which is managed for wildlife. The land is located around the allotments which are owned by Broughton & Milton Keynes Parish Council. There is also a small community orchard next to the allotments.

      • Newlands

        Facilities:

        Newlands Remembrance Walk Park Image.jpg

        Newlands is an area of linear parkland between Willen Lake and Campbell Park, which also borders the canal. As of January 2021, an area of this park will be dedicated as a special place of remembrance.

      • Teardrop Lakes

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        Part of the Loughton Valley Park, the four Teardrop Lakes are also a destination in their own right, providing fishing waters and a peaceful escape for those working in nearby offices.

      • Willen Lake South

        Facilities:

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        Willen Lake is Milton Keynes’ most popular park. Visitors take part in watersports activities, go cycling, enjoy the playground, try the high ropes course or simply picnic along Willen’s shores. It’s a great place to entertain all ages of family and friends, whether it’s a visit to the café or restaurant, a stroll, trying a beginners’ course in sailing or hiring a pedalo or bike.

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