The Forest Centre and Millennium Country Park is a great place for adults and children alike. Just minutes walk from the centre of the village the park covers 250 hectares (over 600 acres) with lakes, wetlands, meadows and new woodlands. There are 8km of surfaced paths around the park that are safe for cycling, walking and 4km of horse trails. There is a trail that goes ‘round Stewartby Lake where the Stewartby Water Sports Club sail, water ski, power boat and fish (www.swsc.org.uk
There is a wetland nature reserve with a peaceful trail that takes you through woodlands, past reed beds and to bird hides. There is a charge for entering the wetland reserve but by becoming a friend of Marston Vale you can visit the wetland reserve as often as you like for free.
The Forest Centre is a spectacular modern visitor centre at the heart of the park with a large car park and excellent access for disabled visitors.
There is a lakeside café and bar where you can enjoy a meal prepared in our own kitchen, a coffee or a drink – there’s ample seating inside and out. With an adventure play area for the kids, a sensory wildlife garden and plenty of room to kick a ball or fly a kite, this is a popular place to relax – and entry and parking are free (except for the wetland trail).
We have a very popular gift shop and regularly have local artists work for sale. The Forest Centre is also a popular conference centre and is a great place for parties, receptions and BBQs.
There are regular family events that are held at the Forest Centre, these are advertised in the local press and in “Commentree” – our newsletter that is available free at the Forest Centre and is mailed to our Friends group.
The Forest of Marston Vale Project
The Forest Centre sits at the heart of the Forest of Marston Vale – a massive project that is planting a beautiful new forest over an area of 61 square miles between Bedford and Milton Keynes. Our aim is to create 30% woodland cover across the Forest area by 2030 and we are doing this by this by working with local land owners, developers, planners and businesses. It’s all made possible by the active involvement of the local community and our Forest Volunteers who help design the woodlands, plant trees and help run all sorts of events.
The Forest of Marston Vale is one of twelve Community Forests across England, each has the aim of regenerating landscapes by working in partnership with local people to create well-wooded landscapes for the benefit of communities and wildlife.
The Marston Vale Trust
The Forest Centre, the Millennium Country Park and the Forest of Marston Vale are being managed and delivered by the Marston Vale Trust – a registered charity based at the Forest Centre along with the team responsible for creating the Forest.