LoveMK Day 2024

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02 May 2024

For #LoveMK Day this year, green spaces have been voted as people’s favourite thing about living in Milton Keynes in a Destination MK poll. As the charity caring for the city’s parks, lakes, and woodlands, this result makes us very happy indeed as we L-O-V-E-M-K too!

L for Lakes

Milton Keynes lakes are outstanding features of the city’s landscape, from family adventures at Willen Lake to the whimsical windmill of Caldecotte or the fountain at Ashland. Lakes are popular with many residents, not just people – they’re wildlife sanctuaries as well, providing biodiverse habitats buzzing with invertebrates, bats, birds and more.

The city’s clever lakes are functional too, with a key role in residential flood defences as part of a network of balancing lakes, floodplains and SUDS to store excess water during periods of heavy rainfall.

O for Open spaces

Milton Keynes’ network of over 6,000 acres of strategically planned and sustainably managed parks, lakes, woods and roadside landscapes is recognised as one of the best in the UK.

As the city continues to grow, we want to ensure that all future areas benefit from the same extent and quality of green space as the almost 50 parks across the established areas of the city.

V for Valleys

In the city’s valleys, you’ll find heaps of history, heritage, and habitats.

The Grand Union Canal flows from the historic Iron Trunk Aqueduct in the Ouse Valley, to and through the Ouzel Valley. The canal’s route sees 17th century farm buildings, medieval villages, undulating ridge and furrow fields, a community apple orchard, and nature reserves. You may even be lucky enough to spot a kingfisher or little grebe along this stretch of water.

Remains of a Roman Villa can be viewed in North Loughton Valley, where you can also find a Pétanque Piste as well as the city’s most iconic residents – Concrete Cows.

E for Environment

Some of Buckinghamshire’s most important areas of wildlife habitat are in Milton Keynes parklands, notably the ancient woodlands (including Howe Park Wood, a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest), species-rich floodplain meadows and wetland reserves.

Our skilled operations team and contractors, supported by volunteers, are busy all year managing the variety of landscapes across the city. They bring immense passion for the great outdoors (in all weathers!) to activities ranging from park patrols, litter picking and cleansing, to surveying and conservation, farming, tree works and woodland management.

M for Meadows

Many of the city’s parks are home to beautiful wildflower meadows, areas of grasslands where a variety of natural, native and uncultivated plants are grown to create biodiverse habitats. Wildflower meadows provide a huge food resource for pollinators such as bees and butterflies, providing nectar and pollen that they rely on.

We sow seeds annually to ensure a good mix of native wildflowers, and we are extending the areas of grassland that are used as meadows by leaving some uncut for longer periods. You may notice patches that have been left on the verges at the side of the grid roads or in parks to allow many more wildflowers to thrive.

Woodland meadows are great habitats too, and a special project in partnership with Community Trees MK and Broughton & MK Parish Council over recent years has seen improvements to the landscape at Middleton Wood Meadow. Since 2021, more than 5,600 trees have been planted thanks to the incredible support of more than 800 local school children from 34 schools in MK, community groups, families, and our volunteers.

K for Keeping healthy

Whilst we’re caring for the landscapes and wildlife, we also want parks to be there for your benefit – both your enjoyment and your wellbeing. On your doorstep are almost 50 different parks with a huge choice of free play areas, leisure routes, trim trails and world-class public artworks as well as several community events.

We look forward to seeing you out there, please say hello if you see us, and remember to Love Your Parks this #LoveMK Day (and always).

  • Unlike most towns and cities, the majority of Milton Keynes' green spaces are cared for by a charity

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