A wealth of wildlife can be found and experienced in our parks and green spaces across Milton Keynes. The land in our care includes ancient woodlands and recent plantations; old hedgerows and ‘veteran’ trees; grazing pastures and hay meadows; areas of scrubland; ponds, lakes, rivers and streams.
More information about the wildlife that can be found in our parks is contained in a downloadable document entitled Our Commitment to Biodiversity. This also provides a statement of our Biodiversity Policy and how we make wildlife conservation a priority of our work whilst also maintaining a sensitive balance with recreational, amenity and landscape needs.
We have also produced a Biodiversity Action Plan. This sets out the actions we propose or desire to carry out to meet our commitment to biodiversity. This currently contains 10 habitat action plans and 15 species action plans which we will regularly report on and review. You can read our latest progress report in the Biodiversity Action Plan.
We have nearly 300 ecological reports available, including a series of reports commissioned by the Milton Keynes Development Corporation from 1974. The reports cover a wide range of subjects, including habitat and species surveys, and the results of habitat enhancement projects.
We continue to add to the collection, including our own surveys and those commissioned by others that cover Parks Trust land. A list of these ecological reports can be downloaded here.
Habitat Creation Projects
Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve
The most ambitious habitat creation scheme that Milton Keynes has seen, between 2007 and 2015 The Parks Trust has created this new nature reserve (opened in 2016) in Ouse Valley Park near Old Wolverton. This former quarry site has been restored as lakes, wet woodland, scrub and wildflower areas with 2km of footpaths and several observation hides, giving great views of the wildlife and its abundant wildlife. The site is best known for its birdlife, with breeding species including lapwing and redshank and good numbers of visiting wildfowl through the winter. It is also important for insects, particularly dragonflies and elusive mammals including otter, water shrew and Daubenton’s bats.
The nature reserve is grazed by handsome Konik ponies and cattle. Please admire these animals from a respectful distance and do not try to feed them. The animals are an important part of our management of this site and replicate the grazing which would have been carried out by prehistoric horses and cattle in this landscape thousands of years ago.
The nature reserve is designed to flood rapidly during high rainfall so you may find that some paths and bridges are inaccessible at various times of year. However, this dynamic and constantly changing watery landscape is what makes it so attractive to a diversity of flora and fauna.
Elfield Nature Park
Close to the National Bowl, this site was previously an industrial waste site and used unofficially for motor sports. Since The Parks Trust acquired it in 2006, we have planted about 20,000 shrubs, created two new ponds and a ditch and introduced some wildflower rich turf from other sites threatened by development. This park is extremely rich in insect life – with over 40 species of bee recorded and a great variety of beetles, butterflies and dragonflies. It is also one of the best sites for amphibians in Milton Keynes, with all three British species of newt.
Because of its sensitive nature and its history, Elfield Nature Park is not usually open to the general public but it used mainly for educational purposes, both school visits and adult education. However, we do organise public events here annually to see this special site at its best. For more information, please contact our Biodiversity Officer: email@example.com