Ouzel Valley Park
About Ouzel Valley Park
The Ouzel Valley Park meanders from Caldecotte Lake in south Milton Keynes to Willen Lake in the north. The park has a spacious, open atmosphere with long views. Much of the land is farmed by The Parks Trust rearing our cattle and sheep, between the livestock you can still see the remnants of an old field system with the ridge and furrow still visible. Incorporating the historic villages of Woolstone and Woughton, the park is bordered on its western side by the Grand Union Canal.
There are six car parks in Woolstone village, five of which are dotted along Newport Road, while the sixth is at the junction of Pattison Lane and Marshalls Lane. Another two car parks are located in the village of Woughton On the Green, one just south of H7 Chaffron Way and the other adjacent to the Parkside Hotel to the south of the village centre.
Nearby pubs include the Ye Olde Swan at Woughton on the Green and The Barge and The Cross Keys, which are located on Newport Road in Woolstone village.
There are no toilet facilities within the park but there are public toilets at Willen Lake South which is five minutes’ walk from the top end of Ouzel Valley Park.
Access is good as the site is generally flat and the gates are wheelchair accessible. There are also benches and tables throughout the site should you wish to take a break.
The Ouzel Valley Park is dotted with the remains of medieval villages and their associated fish ponds. Some of these villages may have been wiped out by the great plague in 1686 but most were simply abandoned as people moved further from the river to avoid flooding and as increased trade reduced their reliance on fish for food. There are interpretation boards throughout the park to help you make sense of what you are seeing. Towards the southern end of the park you can also see an undulation in the surface of the grassland. This is "ridge and furrow" and was caused by medieval ploughing. It demonstrates both that the riverside fields were used for medieval agriculture and also that they have not been ploughed since. If you are interested in historical agriculture it is also well worth visiting Milton Keynes Museum at Wolverton.
The Community Orchard
Ouzel Valley Park is home to the Community Orchard which is located in Woughton on the Green just south of the Olde Swan between the Newport Road and the Canal. The apple trees are all of old English varieties and the apples are free for anyone to take. Please help yourself but do not climb or damage the trees.
Biodiversity & Wildlife
This lies at the northernmost end of the park and is planted with a striking mix of 19 species of this lovely tree, including some rare varieties. The plantation also features willows, including cricket bat willows which are exported to Pakistan, South Africa and Australia to make top-class cricket bats.
The mix of ancient trees, hedgerows and meadows provide excellent habitats for wildlife. Look out for Woodpeckers, while along the river itself you may be lucky enough to see Kingfisher or Little Grebe. If you’re particularly interested in wildlife it’s well worth detouring from the river bank to do a circuit of Walton Lake where reedbeds and bird hides bring a huge mix of bird and insect life close to view.
Find out more about the area
- Livestock GrazingFind out more about our farming work.
- Scheduled Ancient MonumentsOur parks are rich source of local heritage with earthworks revealing deserted medieval villages, motte and bailey castles and medieval fishponds.
- FishingMilton Keynes is blessed with a wealth of still waters. Carp large and small, big tench roach, bream, hybrids, pike and perch are all part of the scene. Most are easily accessible and set in our parklands.
- Explore Willen LakeVisit Milton Keynes' most popular park for a fantastic family friendly day out!