Trustee Changes at The Parks Trust

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17 December 2020

The Parks Trust, established in 1992 is the self-financing charity that cares for over 6,000 acres of parkland in Milton Keynes. The Trust is governed by a board of Trustees all of whom bring with them different skills and experience.  At the end of this year, The Parks Trust are making some big changes to their board. Richard Forman, who has been on the board for 12 years has come to the end of his term as Chairman of The Parks Trust.

Richard joined on 10 December 2008, he was subsequently appointed Deputy Chair of the Board in 2011, and in 2014 he was appointed Chair of the Board of Trustees as well as the Chair of the Executive Committee. Richard is a Director of the Fevore Group, based in Milton Keynes and over his time at The Parks Trust, has brought with him a wealth of knowledge and experience which has been particularly helpful in successfully steering the direction of The Trust’s property portfolio.

During the 12 years that Richard has been on the board The Parks Trust has seen significant growth both in terms of the area of green space under its management and in the size of its investment funds which in turn fund the work of the charity.  Other fantastic accomplishments over this time include the events and activities offered by the Trust which have grown substantially and in 2014, The Parks Trust opened their Education and Visitor Centre at Howe Park Wood, today this centre has seen over 2,000 people take part in events and our education programme.

In 2016, The Parks Trust secured Heritage Lottery Funding for the development of Great Linford Manor park. This funding will be used to ‘Reveal, Restore and Revive’ the park’s important heritage.  In the August of 2016, The Trust completed an ambitious project to create a floodplain forest at Wolverton which is now a much-loved site and visited from far and wide by nature lovers.  In Richard’s time at the Trust, Willen Lake has received major investment and has expanded its facilities and is now in the process of building a brand new watersports centre. The Trust even received some royal recognition when Richard and the team welcomed the Duke of Cambridge to Campbell Park in September 2018 as part of a special visit to celebrate Milton Keynes’ 50th birthday.

Richard Forman says; “It’s been a privilege to have been able to serve The Parks Trust over the last 12 years and a pleasure working with an outstanding and motivated group of trustees and senior management. This is my second recession while at The Parks Trust and I’m pleased that since the first we’ve been able to rebuild our endowment and to make this more resilient. This is the key to our charitable purpose of providing inspirational parkland for everyone in Milton Keynes to enjoy, the value of which has been particularly evident in this year of Covid. It also enables us to pursue more ambitious projects, a vital one at the moment being supporting the Council in its 2050 vision to try to ensure that the expansion areas in Milton Keynes enjoy the same access to high quality, interconnected and well-maintained green spaces as in the original city boundaries”.

David Foster, Chief Executive of The Parks Trust said; “Richard has given the Trust fantastic leadership and direction and has helped to ensure we have stayed focused on our core purpose of providing beautiful and inspirational parks that are enjoyed by more people every year. His commercial expertise has helped place us on a sound financial footing and we and the residents of Milton Keynes owe a huge debt of gratitude to him.”

Richard will be succeeded by Zoe Raven, who is currently Vice Chair of the board. Zoe has worked in Milton Keynes since 1983 and has experience in business and of multi-agency working and partnerships between organisations. She has a long-standing interest in environmental issues and is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Acorn Early Years Foundation which she started in 1989 and has since expanded to thirteen nurseries.  The position of Vice Chair will be filled by Nick Lloyd who is the Chairman of EMW Law in Milton Keynes.  Nick has worked in Milton Keynes for over 20 years and has a huge appreciation for the parks and green spaces in the city, Nick joined as a trustee in 2018. 

Zoe Raven said “I’m thrilled and honoured to be taking on the role of chair at The Parks Trust, particularly in a year which has highlighted, more than ever before, the critical importance of accessibility to green spaces. It is a huge privilege to lead the board forward at a time of serious financial and environmental challenges, and I’m grateful to Richard for being such an excellent role model in his chairing of the board over recent years”.

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