Becoming a Trustee

    Like most charities, The Parks Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees. The Trustees all live in or near to Milton Keynes, are volunteers and are appointed to the board for a three-year term. They have ultimate responsibility for the sound professional, legal, and financial management of the Trust and they set and monitor the strategic direction of the Trust.

    As a charity based in Milton Keynes, we want to recruit people who live or work in MK. We are particularly interested to hear from you if you have skills in any of the following areas: HR, digital transformation, law, operations, marketing and communications, green land management, farming, forestry, ecology, biodiversity, and environment.

    Our board is under-represented by some groups including ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, younger people (over the age of 18) and people from the LGBTQ+ community. We want to ensure we better reflect the diversity of the communities that we serve so we particularly welcome interest and applications from people of these backgrounds.

    If this is your first Trustee role, we have a full trustee induction process, ongoing training, and a buddy scheme to support you through your first year.

    The Board of Trustees is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Trust and ensuring it performs well. Because of the Trust’s significant role in the city’s future, being a Trustee is a position of influence and great responsibility, now and for future generations.

    Our Trustees are people who care about Milton Keynes and who recognise the vital contribution the parks and landscape make to the city’s prosperity, and the quality of life of everyone living and working here. If you support our aims and are prepared to give some of your time to this important role, we would like to hear from you.

    The role of Trustee is interesting and rewarding and one in which your knowledge and skills will be harnessed to make a positive contribution.


    Skills and experience needed on the Board

    • An appreciation of the green spaces in MK and the benefits of them being managed by The Parks Trust

    • An understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities, and liabilities of trusteeship

    • An ability to work effectively as a member of a team

    • The time to commit to carrying out the role

    • An understanding of the need to be impartial and objective and always act in the best interests of the Trust

    • An understanding of the need for the Trust to engage with the whole community

    • A willingness to get to know the Trust’s land and attend events


    The Board needs to have people with a mix of skills and experience including:
    • Business management

    • Investment management

    • HR

    • Charity governance

    • Community engagement

    • Commercial property

    • Outdoor learning

    • Marketing and communications

    • Land management/forestry/farming

    • The environment

    • Ecology/biodiversity

    • Outdoor Sport and Leisure

    • Planning and urban design

    • Digital transformation skills

    From time to time, we review the skills and experience on the Board and aim to recruit people with specific skills and experience to ensure gaps do not occur as trustees retire. There is no limit to the number of Trustees we can have but experience tells us that around 14 works best.

    The role of the Board of Trustees

    The main purpose of the Board of Trustees is:

    • To set and monitor the strategic direction of the charity and to ensure that our strategy is aligned with the values and mission of the Trust;

    • To ensure the Trust is effectively managed and complies with all relevant law and has the resources, policies, and structures necessary to be effective and ensure the highest standards of corporate governance;

    • To set the way the Trust is governed and monitor, guide and authorise the work of its sub-committees;

    • To approve all major decisions and policies and the annual accounts;

    • To ensure that appropriate protection, systems, and checks remain in place to mitigate exposure of the Trust to major risks;

    • To appoint and appraise the Chief Executive.

    The Parks Trust is a Company and a Charity and therefore its Trustees are also Company Directors. The Board meets four times a year. Most meetings take place in the early evenings at the Trust’s offices in Campbell Park, Milton Keynes.

    Depending upon particular interests and expertise, Trustees are appointed to one of the Board’s sub-committees which also meet around four times a year. We also have a subsidiary company, Whitecap Leisure, which manages our work at Willen Lake, and has some trustees as non-executive directors.

    We also have some advisory groups comprising Trustees, staff and independent advisors which provide advice to some of our committees – for example, the Ecology Advisory Group advises the Operational Strategy Committee, and the Investment Advisory Group advises the Finance and Property Committee.

    Being a Trustee requires involvement of around 10 – 20 days per year. Trustees are unpaid, but expenses may be reclaimed. Trustees are normally appointed for a three-year period of office and may be reappointed for a further three years.



    Nominated Trustees

    Four Trustees are nominated to the Board – three by Milton Keynes City Council and one by The Association of Parish Councils. The Trust is staunchly apolitical and is entirely independent of the Government, local authority or any other organisation or business. The Trust’s sole interest is the stewardship of the city’s parks and green spaces. Nominated Trustees have the same responsibilities as all other Trustees and their overriding interest is the well-being of the Trust.

    Trustees’ legal responsibilities

    All Trustees must administer their charity in accordance with the terms of its governing document. In our case this is the Memorandum and Articles of Association which set out the Trust’s objects and powers that the Trustees can exercise in pursuing those objects.

    As a charity Trustee you will be taking on significant responsibility, but the law protects Trustees who have acted reasonably, and it is extremely rare for a Trustee to be made personally liable.

    Charities are no different to other organisations in the duty of care owed to their employees and members of the public using their premises. With 6,000 acres of land, all publicly accessible as well as many properties, the Trust has significant responsibility here. Trustees must satisfy themselves that we have in place proper management systems and processes and appropriate insurance cover.

    Since the Trust is also an incorporated company it is the Trust, not individual Trustees, which has contractual liability for any contract the Trust enters into. The Trustees are further protected by the fact that the Trust employs professional staff and advisors, and the Board seeks their advice on all matters. The Trust also takes out Trustee indemnity insurance to provide further protection.

    Trustee training

    New Trustees receive an induction which includes a briefing by the Chief Executive and other senior managers. Trustees are also given an induction pack containing the core documents such as the Articles of Association and Charity Commission guidance.

    Who can be a Trustee?

    You need to be 18 years or over to be a Trustee. Certain people are legally disqualified, but this only affects a small number of people such as undischarged bankrupts, those disqualified from being company directors, and those who have been convicted of any offence involving deception or dishonesty.

    Conflicts of interest

    We would like Trustees who are actively involved in Milton Keynes’ community. Given that the Trust owns around 25 percent of the land in the new city there will inevitably be occasions when there might be conflicts of interest. In these situations, the person should declare an interest and not seek to influence the discussion and decision.

    How new Trustees are appointed

    If you would like to be considered please contact Victoria Miles, Chief Executive at the address below, and she will have an informal discussion with you.

    Applications will be considered from time to time, initially by the Board’s Executive Committee. The Executive Committee will want to meet potential Trustees before making recommendations to the full Board on any new Trustee appointments.

    Decisions on who to invite onto the Board are always made with a view to filling any skills gaps and assembling a board with an appropriate mix of knowledge and

    experience. Therefore, if there is not a space immediately we would like to retain the details of those applying as we need to regularly renew and refresh the Board and vacancies will arise in the future.


    Victoria Miles MBE  
    Chief Executive The Parks Trust 
    Campbell Park Pavilion 1300 Silbury Boulevard Campbell Park Milton Keynes MK9 4AD
    Telephone: 01908 233600 


    Useful links

    The Parks Trust Annual Report

    The Parks Trust Articles of Association

    Getting on Board - Resources for aspiring trustees

    Gov.UK - Charity trustee - What’s involved


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