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Urban Design Compendium

Case Study 073 - Managing green infrastructure

073 - The Parks Trust, Milton Keynes

The Parks Trust was created in 1992 by Milton Keynes Development Corporation to care for and protect the green spaces of Milton Keynes in perpetuity. The Trust is responsible for the management of the town’s major parks and parkways – 4,500 acres of park land including river valleys, ancient woodlands, lakeside parks and landscaped areas alongside the main roads.

The management structure was established to ensure that the parks and parkways are managed and protected independently, without having to compete for funds with other council priorities. The Trust is a company limited by guarantee with charitable status.

The Trust has three different types of land under its control:

  • Rents from these are used to pay for the Trust’s activities, making the Trust self-financing, with all income used to maintain the green estate.
  • Parkland, flood plain, ancient woodland, scheduled monuments - freehold interest donated by the Development Corporation, subject to a 999-year lease in favour of The Parks Trust.
  • Transport corridors/parkways - owned by Milton Keynes Council as the Highway Authority, the land within the corridors is leased to The Parks Trust on a 999-year lease subject to considerations of upkeep of pavement and associated installations, verges, roundabouts and central reservations immediately associated with the highway.
  • Income-earning assets - properties with relatively low value and high yield which were not attractive to institutional investors, at disposal. At the time of transfer these were valued at around £18M. They include neighbourhood shopping centres, village or individual local shops, industrial developments, office development, public houses. The commercial property assets are owned freehold by the Trust. The Trust is free to trade these as it thinks fit, providing it complies with all relevant legislation.

Other Information


UDC2 Section - Managing Quality Placesace 

The Parks Trust was established to ensure that open space in Milton Keynes was managed and funded independent of other local authority priorities.Images (image bank)