This morning we left Fenny Stratford with its lock which has the lowest fall on the GU, 1ft 1in. This was due to the pound from here to Wolverton having a lot of leaks. The solution was to lower the level of the pound so that most of the leaks were eliminated. We were soon entering the outskirts of Milton Keynes with the canal bordered by tall poplar trees.
In the afternoon Leslie, Sue, Alan and Cassie came to see us and we went a walk into Campbell Park passing various pieces of artwork including this figure of a man and a Totem Pole (Onwards and Upwards) commissioned by the Parks Trust to celebrate John Duggan chairman of the trust from its inception in 1991 to 2011.
A little further up the hill we reached the outdoor theatre which had the Skyfly big TV screen vehicle showing a Robin Williams film for the children. We carried on up to the Beacon which is a Light Pyramid produced by Liliane Lijn in 2012
In addition to the theatre there is a super Cricket Ground and Pavilion as well as lovely walk ways through woods and gardens.
Leslie had parked in the Willen Lake car park and when we went to see them off we saw the cable wakeboarding and water ski area which looked a great sport. The lake also offers sailing, canoeing and wind surfing.
Next to the lake a small travelling fun fair had been set up with all the usual stalls.
The whole area was a buzz with families and youngsters enjoying all the facilities provided by the Parks Trust.
The Parks Trust is the independent charity that owns and cares for many of Milton Keynes parks and green spaces. This adds up to 5,000 acres of river valleys, woodlands, lakesides, parks and landscaped areas alongside the main roads – about 25 per cent of the new city area.
Like many things in Milton Keynes, the Trust’s creation broke new ground. In most places parks are owned and managed by the local authority, but the city’s founders wanted to be sure that such a unique green landscape would be managed and protected forever, without having to compete for funds with other council priorities.
The Parks Trust was created in 1992 to care for most of the city’s green space and was endowed with a substantial property and investment portfolio. The income from this portfolio pays for the vital work of nurturing and enhancing the landscape. It is entirely self-financing.
A couple of boats we saw on route today included this old life boat with a roof garden and the Push U Pull me butty on this narrowboat which also makes and sell Rag Rugs and Bunting.