Frequently Asked Questions

General

What does The Parks Trust do?

Established as a charity in 1992 The Parks Trust expertly cares for over 6,000 acres of green space in Milton Keynes including river valleys, ancient woodlands, lakes, parks and landscaped areas along the city’s grid roads. Read our story.

Does The Parks Trust look after all parks and green spaces in Milton Keynes?

The Parks Trust cares for over 6,000 acres of green space in Milton Keynes including parks, ancient woodlands, lakes, river valleys and 135 miles of landscaped areas along the city’s grid roads.

There are some areas of greenspace within Milton Keynes which The Parks Trust does not manage. These include parks such as the Blue Lagoon, Emberton Park and Tongwell Lake. You can identify land ownership of an area by using Milton Keynes Council's My Maps tool or by checking our website.

How is The Parks Trust financed?

The Parks Trust is an independent charity, and we receive no funding from taxpayers or from local or central government. It costs around £10m every year to cover the cost of our work and we raise that money through rent from our property portfolio and investments.

What are your latest financials?

Please refer to our latest annual report and financial statements which can be found on our website.

Do you have trustees?

We benefit from the involvement of 15 trustees. Over 80 trustees have served the Trust since 1992. You can find out more about our Trustees on our website.

Can you sell your land for development?

The Parks Trust has a general presumption against selling or building on its parks and highway corridor land. We may occasionally consider disposing of areas under certain circumstances – this is explained in more detail in the Trust’s policy concerning the acquisition, disposal or development of land.

 

Operations

Why do you cut down trees?

Our expert team carefully manage over 6,000 acres of green space which are home to millions of trees. Caring for trees inevitably includes work such as tree thinning which is carried out for safety reasons, or to diversify habitats. Ultimately, our goal is to improve the long-term development of plantations and woodlands. Find out more about our tree management works.

Why do you cut the grass?

We manage grass in a way that delivers the most biodiversity gains whilst balancing fire risk. Some areas of long grass are cut in July when it starts to die back, and we use it as hay to feed our livestock later in the year. We deliberately leave some grass long to provide habitats for wildlife and pollinators, some areas are then cut in the Autumn. Fire can be a risk in Summer, especially during heatwaves, so we think carefully about cutting additional areas of long grass when the weather gets extremely hot. Find out more about hay cutting.

Do you use herbicides?

The Parks Trust has made positive progress in its efforts to reduce Herbicides use. In recent years we have reduced our total use by over one-third. By 2024, our goal is to use the substance minimally and only where no practicable alternative is available. Find out more about our herbicide usage.

Why have the trees / shrubs/ bushes been cut back along the boundary of my house?

We manage over 6,000 acres of landscape across Milton Keynes and many private properties boarder onto our parkland meaning we have over 10,000 neighbours. We work hard to ensure the landscape looks good today and also lasts for the future. So this means from time to time; trees, shrubs and bushes may be cut back in line with our management schedule. Find out more about our tree thinning work.

Can I collect wood from the parks?

No, please do not take any wood from our parks or green spaces. Logs may be waiting for collection or left as dead wood. Dead wood provides an important habitat for insect life, which in turn helps support the rich variety of birds and butterflies you see in the parks.

Can I buy your firewood?

Yes, subject to availability, view our firewood range for more details.

Is flooding a problem in MK?

Milton Keynes' parks are home to a network of balancing lakes, floodplains and SUDs (Sustainable Drainage Systems) which help prevent flooding. Find out more about the flood defences in our parks.

Biodiversity & Wildlife

I've seen an injured animal / bird - what should I do?

Please report instances of injured wildlife to the RSPCA. If the animal or bird has unfortunately died, please let us know by emailing communityranger@theparkstrust.com and our team will deal with it as quickly and efficiently as possible.

 

Events & Activities

Can I host an event in a park?

We welcome requests for groups, organisations and individuals to host their own event or activity in our parks. Find out more about hosting an event in the park.

Can my community group celebrate in the parks?

We welcome requests for groups, organisations and individuals to host their own event or activity in our parks. Find out more about hosting an event in the park.

Can I film or photograph in your parks?

We do allow commercial filming and photography in our parks. Filming and Photography is at the discretion of the Trust and shoots will need to be agreed in advance and are subject to availability. Find out more about filming, photography and drone use.

Can I run my business from a park?

Our parks are home to many licensed activities including commercial dog walkers and fitness operators. Find out more about licensed activities.

Can I run a forest school in your parks?

We have limited sites suitable for Forest School and we have a few external licensed operators who host forest school in these areas. Whilst spaces are limited we welcome requests from schools and organisations looking to host a forest school in suitable spaces. Apply for a forest school license.

Can I sail a boat/kayak on your lakes/rivers?

This is only permitted at Willen Lake and is subject to availablity and restrictions. To find out more about launching your own craft visit the Willen Lake website. Please note the Canals and Rivers Trust are responsible for most of the waterways in MK that are not managed by us.

Does my dog have to be on a lead in your parks?

There are restrictions in certain parks such as our ancient woodlands, nature reserves and areas where livestock are present. Please refer to onsite signage and ensure dogs are kept under control at all times.

Can I use a BBQ / fire / gas cooker in your parks?

No BBQs, fires or gas cookers are permitted in any of our parks due to the associated safety risks. View our fire safety page for more details.

Can I camp in your parks?

No, camping and overnight stays in camper van or mobile homes are not permitted on our land or car parks.

 

Accessibility 

How are you making the parks more accessible?

The Parks Trust is committed to making your parks as accessible as possible so that everyone can access the benefits of the great outdoors. We are working on physical improvements, enhancing the information about each location, reviewing our events and activities and the booking processes accompanying these, as well as training our team in disability awareness.

Which parks are suited to wheelchair users?

For information about individual parks' accessibility, including accessible car parking, please visit individual park pages via the 'Your Parks' menu.

 


  • The Parks Trust are a self-financing charity

    Our property portfolio helps fund the care of over 6,000 acres of parks and green spaces in Milton Keynes

    Learn more...

Discover our parks

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