Home About us Latest news March 2018

Latest News

Willen Lake Launches New and Improved Website

20 March 2018

Willen Lake has launched a new website which offers customers an improved online experience; with fully responsive design, better interactivity including maps and video and integration with a new booking system.

Visitors to the website can quickly and easily find out information about all of the activities available at Willen Lake, such as Treetop Extreme, the county’s only urban high ropes course, equipment hire and watersports including wakeboarding, canoeing, windsurfing and many more.

The site is easy to navigate through a drop down ‘mega menu’, with separate sections for ‘Discover Willen Lake’, ‘What’s On’, ‘Watersports’, ‘Activities’, ‘Schools & Groups’.

For the first time, tickets for all the watersports and on land activities can be booked online through the one website, including sessions for Splash ‘n’ Play, one of the UK’s largest outdoor splash parks. Users can also buy tickets for more than one session at a time, allowing them to organise a day or week of activities if needed.

The new website has been designed to be very visually-led, with photos and new video content to inspire people as they plan their visit to the lake. It is fully mobile and tablet responsive, ensuring the website can be easily accessed while on the move.

Finally, a dedicated media section provides all the lake’s latest news, access to social media platforms and inspiration pieces.

Hannah Bodley, Head of Marketing, Events and Community Engagement for The Parks Trust, commented: “We are very pleased to launch our new website, which will enable visitors to plan their trip and book activities before they arrive at the lake. We’ve spent considerable time looking at improving the customer journey to ensure everyone can find the information they need quickly and easily and by making it easier to book sessions and activities. There is something for everyone to enjoy at Willen Lake and we look forward to customers being able to explore this using our new website.”

Rob Wood, General Manager at Willen Lake, added: “The new website has launched in time for the Easter holidays and the start of our peak season, and we think it will make a trip to Willen Lake better than ever. As we have taken over more activities at the lake, including the wakeboarding centre and Treetop Extreme, there was a need to create a new, combined website with all the key information in one place. There’s lots of fun to be had at the lake and the new website demonstrates this perfectly.”

The new website was designed and developed by Interdirect. Managing Director, Nicholas Mann said: “We are delighted to be working with The Parks Trust on a number of exciting projects, and particularly the launch of the website for Willen Lake. With more than 22 years’ experience providing marketing support to businesses and organisations from across Milton Keynes, we are proud to partner with an organisation whose vision is to create beautiful and inspirational parks, lakes and landscapes that will be loved by the people of Milton Keynes, forever.”

The new Willen Lake website has been introduced by The Parks Trust, which manages Willen Lake. A new website will also be launching shortly for the Trust itself.



Milton Keynes Children Explore Campbell Park at The Parks Trust’s Junior Park Rangers Conference

15 March 2018


We welcomed 62 children from primary schools and home educated groups across the city for our fifth annual Junior Park Rangers (JPR) Outdoor Learning and Sharing Conference.

The children enjoyed an action-packed day of outdoor activities at Campbell Park, which began with a ‘Which Park?’ photograph quiz, followed by a short Q&A session, where the Rangers put Landscape and Operations Director, Rob Riekie, ‘on the spot’ to answer their questions on both woodland management and Campbell Park.

Shortly after, the children split into groups to take part in a variety of different activities, including a ‘winter wander’, where they discovered natural ‘treasures’; a VIP woodland management experience and interactive Community Ranger challenges covering litter, water safety, feeding waterfowl and the Countryside Code messages of ‘Respect, Protect and Enjoy’, for the environment and Milton Keynes parks.

After lunch, there were more fun activities to enjoy; John Muir (environmental) Award inspired tasks, including using natural materials to create ‘mini national parks’ and individual group verbal presentations, showcasing JPR activities, competitions and quizzes.

This was a very important part of the day as the opportunity to communicate and share key environmental messages to peers, school and family and friend communities is an integral part of the JPR programme.

The Rangers also painted a rock, which will be used to create a ‘JPR’ themed mural, temporarily located in Campbell Park, the city’s Art park.

Each Ranger received their own cloth goody bag, including JPR baseball cap and individual attendance certificate. The Rangers were also very excited to take home wood souvenirs, kindly provided by the woodland experience team and some wild meadow flower seed to use within their school or group grounds.

The day closed with the winners of the team challenges being announced. In first place was Haslett Hedgehogs, second place Middleton Birds and third was Determined Dragonflies. Prizes included a variety of outdoor learning equipment.

Amanda Bailey, outdoor learning practitioner and co-ordinator of the JPR programme at The Parks Trust, commented:

 “We love the annual JPR Outdoor Learning and Sharing Conference, it’s a fantastic opportunity for children to get out into nature and find out more about the city’s green space and wildlife.

“Our Junior Park Rangers are such an asset to their schools and local communities as they are so enthusiastic about the natural environment and what they can do to protect and support it.

“We believe its hugely important to involve children in caring for the world around them and encouraging these positive attitudes from a young age, so we are dedicated to involving them in our activities wherever possible.”

The Junior Park Rangers scheme is free to join, simple to run and is fully supported by our Outdoor Learning Team.

As part of the scheme up to six children per school, from years 4-6, are recruited as Junior Park Rangers.

The role of a Junior Ranger is to share with their school community key environmental messages, particularly how they can help to keep MK parks safe, clean and full of wildlife.

Rangers have three main jobs: they read out a monthly seasonal bulletin in assembly; run competitions, quizzes and campaigns to raise awareness about events and issues in the parks; and set up and maintain a noticeboard with posters, pictures and maps.


For more information about Junior Rangers, please get in touch with our Outdoor Learning team, on 01908 233600 or education@theparktrust.com

The Parks Trust Wins Leisure, Entertainment & Arts Category at 2018 Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards

9th March 2018

We are thrilled to have won the Leisure Entertainment & Arts Category at the 2018 Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards.

A new category for 2018, the award recognises our extensive and varied events and activities programme.

In 2017, we organised and enabled over 500 events in our parkland, from popular, standalone favourites World Picnic and Spooky Halloween Walks to smaller, regular events such as Women’s Walking Network and Tree Tots.

Additionally, we offer an extensive programme of community engagement, working with local communities to encourage them to engage with their green and open space and developing our Community Ambassador Programme.

In particular, we are working closely with BAME communities through workshops, training and devoted staff resource, which led to several diverse communities hosting their own MK50 celebrations in 2017 including MK Hindu Association’s Mela, African Diaspora Day and Filipino Festival.

We also regularly bring many Milton Keynes organisations together through successful partnership working initiatives. Partnership projects in 2017 included several cultural firsts for the city including the History Festival, the Festival of Nature and the Illuminated Boat Festival.

Julie Dawes, The Parks Trust’s Events & Community Engagement Manager, commented: “We are so pleased to have been recognised at the 2018 Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards. While managing and maintaining over 6,000 acres of green space across Milton Keynes is a big part of what we do, many people don’t realise just how many events and activities we organise in our parkland."

“We work very hard to ensure we offer a diverse programme that provides something for everyone, whatever your age, ability or interests. We want to encourage as many people as possible to get outside and enjoy their local environment and look forward to hosting many more fantastic events over the years to come!"

The Milton Keynes Business Achievement Awards were announced last night, Thursday 8th March at the DoubleTree by Hilton hotel at the stadium:mk. In addition to winning the Leisure, Entertainment & Arts category, we were also a finalist for Charity of the Year.