The Parks Trust Looks Back on a year of success

Parks Trust volunteer
Parks Trust volunteer

The Parks Trust has been reflecting on the past year, with the release of its top 10 highlights.

From discovering two new species of damselfly in Milton Keynes’ parks to our biggest dog event yet, it’s been an exciting year for The Parks Trust.

Alongside looking after over 6,000 acres of green space across Milton Keynes, the independent charity facilitated over 450 events in its parkland this year, delivered its outdoor learning programmes to adults and children across Milton Keynes, and continued to grow its property portfolio which helps fund The Trust’s important work.

David Foster, Chief Executive of The Parks Trust, commented: “This has been an exciting year for The Trust, as we continue to take on and care for more green space and amenities in Milton Keynes such as the new Campbell Wharf Marina, and plan for new projects, which include the restoration of Great Linford Manor Park thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund.

“We have also been busy installing new equipment for park users, discovering different wildlife species and launching new websites, we’ve been fortunate enough to be awarded for our efforts on a local and national scale. We are excited to see what 2019 will bring.”

The Parks Trust – 10 Highlights of 2018

- Launched new websites for both The Parks Trust and Willen Lake. These offer customers an improved online experience; with fully responsive design, better interactivity and integration with a new, enhanced booking system.

- This year, more than 200 volunteers completed nearly 4,000 hours of work across our parkland, with over 1,000 hours spent on practical tasks.

- Won two Horticulture Week Custodian Awards for our events programme and volunteer strategy, as well as the Leisure, Entertainment & Arts Category at the 2018 Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards.

- In July,were awarded £3.1 million by the Heritage Lottery Fund and Big Lottery Fund for a four-year project to ‘Restore, Reveal and Revive’ the historic Great Linford Manor Park.

- Despite the heatwave this summer, managed to make 849 large round bales of hay for cattle to eat during the winter.

- In October, purchased high quality office development Warren Park at Wolverton Mill, which has 40 units arranged in two courtyards, set in landscaped grounds.

- Big Doggie Do event returned to Willen Lake in May, welcoming around 2,500 people and their dogs over the weekend.

- Completed the first phase in our plan to improve fitness equipment around Willen Lake, installing an outdoor gym suitable for strength training.

- Discovered two new species of damselfly breeding in our parks; the Willow Emerald at Tattenhoe Park and Teardrop Lakes and the Beautiful Demoiselle in Ouse Valley Park.

- This academic year, 187 children took part in their extra-curricular outdoor learning programmes; Junior Park Rangers, Youth Rangers and Youth Explorers.