Canoeing at Milton Country Park!

Sport England Award

Recently Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust were successful in receiving a grant from Sport England for the purchase of equipment that will enable us to develop canoe opportunities at Milton Country Park.

We now have nine fantastic new 16ft Canadian canoes which will enable us to get more people out on the water and accessing this exciting sport!

We will be working with British Canoeing over the course of the year to develop opportunities and hope to have some taster sessions this year and more activities in place for 2018.  
See below for some canoe sessions coming up soon, more information to follow!

Parklife

Parklife is our popular free family event provided in association with South Cambridgeshire District Council.  This year you can try canoeing, kayaking and paddle boarding taster sessions on the lake.  The watersports are really popular and places always fill quickly.  Half the available sessions will be bookable in advance.  Pre-booking will be open from 9am Thursday 1st June until 5pm Monday 19th June.  There is an admin fee of £5 per kayak/paddle board and £8 per canoe.  You can also book on the day from 10am at the marquee by the visitor centre.
Age and height restrictions apply.
Please see the Parklife website for more information.  

Joy of Adventure

Over the summer we'll be partnering with experienced BCU coach, Joy Martin to give young people a chance to complete their Duke of Edinburgh practice and assessed expeditions.  These opportunities are detailed below...

1) Open Gold Canoe Practice Expedition June 30th - July 2nd.  River Ouse, Cambridgeshire. Your opportunity to complete your Gold expedition by canoe with training and practice in Cambridgeshire on the beautiful river Cam and Ouse.  Training date to suit group members. More information from www.joyofadventure.co.uk   dofe@joyofadventure.co.uk Cost £275

2) Open Gold Assessed Expedition July 21st - 24th / August 28th - 30th.  Based in East Anglia. More information from www.joyofadventure.co.uk dofe@joyofadventure.co.uk Cost £275

4) Open Silver Canoe Practice  Expedition June 30th - July 2nd.  River Ouse, Cambridgeshire. Your opportunity to complete your Silver expedition by canoe with training and practice in Cambridgeshire on the beautiful river Cam and Ouse.  Training date to suit group members. More information from www.joyofadventure.co.uk   dofe@joyofadventure.co.uk Cost £275

5) Open Silver Assessed Expedition July 21st - 23th / August 28th - 30th.  Based in East Anglia.  
More information from www.joyofadventure.co.uk  dofe@joyofadventure.co.uk Cost £275

 

 

 

 

 

Paddle Boarding Lessons start next Saturday!

Paddle boarding lessons start next Saturday, 6th May with a Quick Start session designed to get you paddling in no time!

Sessions start at 10am and 11.15am and cost £15 per person.  Perfect for adults and children it's a great activity to do as a family, as an introduction to this growing sport or as a refresher if you've tried it before.  
Minimum height restriction 1.3m. 

Courses alternate on Saturdays between our Quick Start sessions and our Ready to Ride and Born to Ride courses, where you can earn your accredited BSUPA pass which will allow you access to our club and social nights!

Learn to SUP and enjoy time on the water this summer with the UK's fastest growing sport!

 

 

 

 

 

Paddle Boarding Club Sessions: Thursday 27th April 6pm-8pm

If you have a Ready to Ride or Born to Ride pass you can now pay and paddle on the lake at our Club social sessions!  

Weekly sessions begin tomorrow 27th April.
Cost for a 1 hour session (6-7pm / 7-8pm)

  • £5 - if bringing your own board (£2.50 under 16s)
  • £10 - include hire of board, bouyancy aid, paddle etc (£5 under 16s)

Under 16s must have a Born to Ride pass and an accompanying adult.

For 6pm sessions come along a bit earlier if you plan to hire a board to collect it from the container and take onto the water

For 7pm sessions there should be a board already out for you but allow time to help take them back to the container.

You can earn your Ready to Ride or Born to Ride pass by completing our two and a half hour skills course, now bookable online here.   

We look forward to seeing you on the water!

Open Water Swimming: Easter weekend!

As a result of a lovely week of weather we have seen the water temperature of Todd's Pit rise to 15 degrees.  This is a comfortable temperature to start our open water swim season and with this in mind we will be bringing our start date forward to Friday 14th April (Good Friday!)  We are mindful that air temperatures will dip next week but with a balmy weekend predicted we are confident the water temperature will hold for the Easter weekend.

From Good Friday onward sessions will run as detailed on our dedicated web page.  Here you will also find the current water temperature, which we will be keeping updated throughout the season.

We look forward to seeing you on the bank very soon!

Outdoor Cinema coming to the park this summer!

This summer we have two opportunities to enjoy a classic film in the park!
Bring a blanket and a comfy seat and get cosy with a big screen under the stars...

Spectrum Events will be providing an illuminated bar and snacks and park café, Grounds, will be serving hot dogs and hot drinks from its pop-up before the film.

Tickets are now on sale for both events.  £12 each or £10 for 4+
Visit the Spectrum Events website or collect and pay for your tickets at the park office.    

Mamma Mia Sing-a-long: July 1st 8pm-midnight

Come and boogie and sing a long to songs like ‘Does Your Mother Know’ and ‘Gimme, Gimme, Gimme a Man After Midnight’.  Gates open at 8pm, the film will start at approximately 10pm. 

E.T: August 26th 7pm-11pm

Come and help us celebrate E.T. being 35 years old with this outdoor screening of this iconic film.  Enjoy a nostalgic night out or share the magic with your children.  E.T is a perfect film to enjoy under a night sky! 

Paddle Boarding in the Park!

Why not try paddle boarding in Milton Country Park this summer?

We are an accredited school with the British Stand Up Paddle Association (BSUPA) and offer plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy one of the world's fastest growing sports, whether you're a complete beginner, have tried it before and want to progress, or you're an experienced paddle boarder looking for some time on the water.  

Stand up paddle boarding (SUP) is fun, offers a great work out incorporating balance, strength and flexibility, and is a unique way to explore our natural surroundings.  

This year you can even book and pay for your sessions easily on our website!  Visit our dedicated SUP page for more information about our Ready to Ride and Born to Ride Courses, Quick Start sessions, parties, individual hire, Cambridge SUP Club, SUP Fitness and more!  
 

Welcome to Wild Thyme & Embers!

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Introducing Wild Thyme & Embers, a new outdoor learning experience for children and their families at Milton Country Park.  Sessions are designed to encourage families to spend more time outside, reconnect with nature and enjoy the lifelong benefits.  They will be running outdoor toddler groups and family sessions in the Wild Place, including bushcraft, survival skills courses and tailor made experiences for groups such as nurseries, schools and youth clubs.

Sessions below start on April 25th.

Earthworms: an outdoor toddler group which includes sensory bushcraft and play-based activities, games and songs; all of which encourage the children to foster strong relationships, build self-esteem and develop their language and communication skills. 

Dragonflies: A woodland family group developed for children aged 3-7.  Focusing on practical bushcraft and survival skills it introduces a range of tools, used with assistance and under close supervision.  Children will be encouraged to set their own challenges and take acceptable risks to build their self confidence and sense of achievement.

Please see the Wild Thyme and Embers website for more details and booking information. 

Big Garden Birdwatch and Bird Ringing: Sunday Jan 29th 10.30am

On Sunday January 29th we are hosting an RSPB big garden bird watch and bird ringing session at Milton Country Park community orchard.

Come and take part in the survey and meet our winter birds up close.  Members of the RSPB will be there to tell you more about the different birds you get in the park and ringing birds, which provides vital information for species monitoring and also gives us an opportunity to really appreciate our beautiful feathered visitors!   

Wrap up warm and stop by from 10.30 onwards.  The bird count will be taking place from 11am-12pm.

For more information on the RSPB Big Garden Bird Watch and to download your information pack please visit the RSPB website.

*This event will be postponed if heavy rain or strong winds are forecast and info posted on this blog page by Saturday 28th.  

Chiffchaff MCP 2015

Chiffchaff MCP 2015

Blue tit MCP 2015

Blue tit MCP 2015

Are you interested in Canoeing at the park?

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Last year we worked with a group of Cambridge University students as part of a challenge for a Social Innovation Project organised by Cambridge Hub, linking students with local charities and giving them experience in external consultancy.  This report showed that there was an interest in more inclusive activities at the park and a particular interest in canoeing.

To build on this research we are now working with a new cohort of students who are conducting a feasibility study into a canoeing programme at Milton Country Park.

The students have compiled a quick survey to gather more information for this challenge.  If you have an interest in canoeing for yourself or a family member, whatever your age or ability, please do take a few moments to complete this survey.   As always your opinions are very important to us and really help to enable future projects.

Thank you for your time!

Enchanted Days at Christmas

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*SOLD OUT*

Narnia is coming to the Wild Place this December with Enchanted Days magical Christmas workshops and an opportunity to meet Santa!
Enchanted Days have been a sell out success at our Autumn Festival event for the past two years.  Gap Learning always create a wonderfully immersive experience, inspiring all ages to get creative and believe in magic!
Suitable for ages 2-10. 
£10 per child plus booking fee.

Follow the Enchanted Days event page for up to date information.

Tickets are selling quickly so please book early to avoid disappointment.

Kids Playground Survey 2016!

We would love to know what your children think of Milton Country Park's playground and how we can make it better!  As our most important playground visitors it's especially important we know what they think so we can to create something they will really enjoy visiting!  If you are coming to the park this half term please do print off the form for your child/children to complete and bring the survey to the park! 
We will have a collection box in the café until Sunday October 30th.  
You can also scan your survey and send to: sarah.harris@cambridgesportlakes.org.uk

Special thanks to Milton Primary School who have been sending in their surveys this week, we have really enjoyed seeing their lovely pictures  (and are already seeing a strong trend for something they particularly want!)  
Make sure your child has their say!
Thank you, Milton Country Park 

Playground Survey!

 

Last Open Water Swim Tomorrow!

Tomorrow (Sat 1st Oct) will be our last open water swim of the season.  After a chilly start to the year it's amazing to have made it all the way to October!

Thank you to everyone who has come along to the sessions.

If you would like to hear about our open water programme for next year please add your name to the contact list below and we will be in touch before the season begins again in 2017!

Name *
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Autumn Festival - a big thank you!

We had a fantastic day at the Autumn Festival on Sunday and were delighted to see so many people in the park enjoying themselves!  Thank you for coming along and supporting Milton Country Park!  The Autumn Festival is our biggest fundraiser of the year and its success will make a big difference to us over the quieter winter months.

We would also like to thank our many volunteers who gave their time on Sunday.  Thank you to the volunteers and Friends of Milton Country Park who manned our information points and ticket tent, to the orchard volunteers for running the fantastic apple press, to RealLife for providing our entertainment, to those who provided or supported our activities, helped in the car park, set-up and packed-down and to the Crossfit Stags & Does who had a workout with a difference setting out our straw bales and raking up the hay play at the end of the day!  

Thank you also to our sponsors Cambridge Independent,  Cambridge Building Society, Ridgeons and Cambridge Water who also provided us with water for our steam train and apple press, and to Tesco's Milton branch who provided lunches for our volunteers.

We hope those of you who came enjoyed the day!

We would love to hear your feedback.  Please complete the form below and let us know what you thought of the Autumn Festival, what you particularly liked or would like to see more of, and how we can make the Autumn Festival better in the future.  

Name
Name

Kids Activities at the Autumn Festival

If you're bringing the kids to the Autumn Festival here's a summary of what's on offer this Sunday!

Greenleaf Forest School: messy craft
Enjoy some forest school craft at Hall’s Pool making wild creatures, Green Man faces or flower fairies using clay, sticks, leaves and other natural materials. Suitable for ages 5-12.
Sessions are 20-30mins and cost £3 each, bookable at the main information point.

Enchanted Days: Magical workshops
The wonderfully creative Gap Learning CIC are offering their popular magical workshops in the Wild Place.  These places book very quickly.  If you miss out on a workshop you can still enjoy their magical creatures, hair braiding, Enchanted Days stall and more. Visit at 2pm and hear the Cambridge Bard telling an enchanting story!
Free activity.  Workshops are bookable in advance here (likely to go out quickly).

COWA: Animals and tractors
Sit and ride tractors to play on at the main entrance and animals to meet and pet in the Wild Place.
Drop in free activity

Hoveraid & Madagascar Trail
Book a ride on a hovercraft and get a chance to feel what it’s like to be part of their medical teams out in Madagascar.  You will follow a trail explaining about the work HoverAid does in the river systems of remote areas of Madagascar.  You can then ride with HoverAid on the lakes!
Bookable at the second information point for a donation.

Hayplay
Simple fun in a hay pile - always popular!
Drop-in free fun in the sunclock

Miniature Steam Train
For the first time Milton Country Park is playing host to a lovely miniature steam train in Remembrance Meadow!

Canoe Safari
Follow a safari trail around Todd's Pit lake and explore the lakes Canadian style!  Boats are available to book on the day and are suitable for two adults or one adult and two children age 5+.
Book at the main info point on arrival. £8 per boat.

Facepainting
Find Glitterbugs in the play area.

Wood Craft Folk
Make and take home Viking braiding and friendship bracelets
Drop-in free activity in the sun clock.

Fishing
Taster fishing sessions at Todd's Pit run by FPAS.  Have a go and see what you can catch!
Drop in sessions £2.50 per child.

Meet the mermaid
Have your photo taken with our very rare and special visitor!
Free activity.

Wild Pokehunt
Find the unusual creatures hiding at activity stalls around the festival, unscramble the letters on their backs and you could win a prize!
Free activity.

Produce Show
If you're a budding Bake Off contestant, gardener, photographer or crafter then enter the Produce Show for a chance to win a trophy!  
Details on categories and how to enter can be found here.

We will also have a wide range of delicious food to try, craft stalls, entertainment and colourful characters to meet - dressing up is optional!
www.miltoncountrypark.org/autumnfestival

 

 

 

 

 

Canoe Safari at the Autumn Festival

You can explore Todd's Pit lake Canadian style at the Autumn Festival! 

We now have more spaces available for the canoe Safari running throughout the Autumn Festival on Sunday Sept 25th.

Boats cost £8 each and are suitable for one adult and two children or two adults.  Sessions run every hour on the half an hour and are bookable on the day at the main information point on a first come first served basis (This is a popular activity and books quickly!)

Suitable for age 5+

Advance festival tickets are £5 from Cam Live (booking fee applies) children and parking are free.  You can also purchase your Autumn Festival tickets at the office at Milton Country Park.

 

 

 

Autumn Festival: Full line-up announced!

It's less than two weeks until Milton Country Park's Autumn Festival!  We have some fantastic local food, craft, activities and entertainment lined up for you this year  - here is a full list of who and what will be there!

Remember to purchase your tickets in advance to guarantee you'll be there too and remember all proceeds go to Milton Country Park - thank you!

Food & Produce Stalls

   

Activities

  • Enchanted Days Workshops: Creative CIC company Gap Learning are offering free magical workshops in the Wild Place (book in advance to be guaranteed a place!) plus story-telling, enchanted stall, hair braiding, painted motifs, enchanted creatures and dens! 
  • Hoveraid: Cambridge based charity will be bringing their hovercraft back and offering you a chance to feel what it's like to be part of their medical teams out in Madagascar. For a donation you will have an immersive experience finding out along the way about the work the HoverAid does then have a chance to ride with HoverAid on the lakes!
  • College of West Anglia: peddle tractors to ride and animals to meet including their pony, rabbits, guinea pigs, and some creepy crawlies too!
  • Produce Show: budding bakers, makers, growers, photographers get a chance to enter this annual competition or come along and get inspired by what other people have been making and creating locally!
  • Canoe Safari: Run by our fantastic local guides, hire a boat for the family and explore the lakes, following a safari trail.
  • Miniature steam train
  • Wood Craft Folk: Make viking plaits and friendship bracelets with local volunteers
  • Woodland Ways: bushcraft and survival display and demonstrations
  • Glitterbugs: facepainting & glitter tattoos
  • Greenleaf Forest School: wood craft make & take sessions
  • Pond dipping
  • SC Games: Traditional games
  • FPAS: fishing tasters and environment agency tank
  • Wild Pokehunt: Enter our competition to find the curious creatures hiding in the park and you could win a prize!
  • Apple pressing: Meet the community orchard volunteers, have a go at pressing the apples grown in our very own orchard and try the delicious juice!

FoodPark

  • Rosti Strasse: Swiss potato rosti - street style 
  • Fired Up: Proper pizza from a mobile wood-fired oven
  • Juice Box: Fresh and healthy juices and smoothies
  • Churros Bar: Mexican doughnuts with delicious finger licking dips
  • Wandering Yak: Street food pop-up of the year! Try their vibrant vegetarian flavours of the middle east
  • Guerilla Kitchen: A food revolution in a steamed bao bun
  • Steak & Honour: Some of the finest burgers in Cambridge served from a vintage H van
  • Holy Schnitzels: Authentic Austrian mountain food using traditional family recipes
  • Buffalo Joes: The ultimate chicken wings

Guesting with FoodPark is new foodie on the block Kura Kura: Sri-Lankan and South Indian street food served from a colourful, converted horse box!

Craft Stalls

Entertainment

  • Green stage with live music including...
  • Red Velvet
  • Chris Fox
  • Tomorrow the World
  • Tuesday Night Band
  • Tia & the Bandits
  • Doghouse
  • Major Rat Run
  • David Cambridge
  • JB Band
  • Six Pack DJs & more
  • Uk Pie Party: comedy extravaganza raising money for cancer charities with Pie in the Face humour
  • Street performers
  • story telling
  • pirates treasure hunt
  • meet the mermaid

We also have stalls where you can meet the team from You Can Bike Too, our sponsors Cambridge Water will be giving out free water saving devices, the Milton Photography Club have a display, Cambridge City Council have an information stall and more...  

This list is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change - we will keep it updated!

Park Survey 2016

In the autumn last year we conducted a user survey which helped us to understand how the park was being used.  The results of this survey were extremely valuable and allowed us to seek funding for a programme of improvements which we have been able to carry out this year.  

Cambridge Sport Lakes Trust is committed to managing Milton Country Park in a way that provides opportunities for everyone to enjoy the outdoors, whether that's a quiet country walk or through sport, leisure and education.  One of the results of last year's survey was that many people requested more activities, events and improved play equipment at the park.  We now have a new survey online to help gather more information about this.  

Please support the park by spending a few minutes answering these questions.  Your feedback is important to us, thank you! 

FoodPark line up announced for the Autumn Festival

Cambridge's award winning street food collective will be returning to Milton Country Park's Autumn Festival on Sunday 25th September with an even bigger line up of fabulous foodies!

We have been proud to partner with FoodPark with this event for the past three years.  Their innovative food is a terrific crowd-pleaser and well worth a visit alone.  FoodPark Night Markets are always a sell out success, and at the Autumn Festival you get a unique opportunity to experience the collective delights of these funky foodie vans in a beautiful park setting, with a bar and festival entertainment thrown in!  Plus with extended trading hours until 5pm you can get a chance to enjoy lunch and dinner in the park!

This year confirmed FoodPark traders include... 

  • Rosti Strasse: Swiss potato rosti - street style 
  • Fired Up: Proper pizza from a mobile wood-fired oven
  • Juice Box: Fresh and healthy juices and smoothies
  • Churros Bar: Mexican doughnuts with delicious finger licking dips
  • Wandering Yak: Street food pop-up of the year! Try their vibrant vegetarian flavours of the middle east
  • Guerilla Kitchen: A food revolution in a steamed bao bun
  • Steak & Honour: Some of the finest burgers in Cambridge served from a vintage H van
  • Holy Schnitzels: Authentic Austrian mountain food using traditional family recipes
  • Buffalo Joes: The ultimate chicken wings

Guesting with FoodPark is new foodie on the block Kura Kura: Sri-Lankan and South Indian street food served from a colourful, converted horse box!

Tickets to the Autumn Festival are just £5 in advance, £7 on the gate but they are limited so don't leave it too late!  Children under 16 are free!  There is limited parking on site - please use alternative transport if at all possible.

Ed Williams Swims the North Channel This Week!

Ed Williams is an open water swim coach for the Elite Swimming Academy based at Milton Country Park.  He's also a marathon swimmer taking on an amazing personal challenge this week!

In just a few days time he will be swimming the North Channel from Ireland to Scotland, a distance of 35km.  This particular route is considered to be one of toughest open water swims in the world due to the cold temperatures, unpredictable sea conditions and the abundance of toxic lions mane jellyfish.

Two years ago Ed took on this challenge and was just two miles from the finish when he had to abandon his swim after becoming critically ill from hundreds of jellyfish stings.

This week he returns to take on this challenge once more and is raising money for Wateraid and Great Ormond Street Hospital in the process.  You can keep up with Ed's progress by following a live link which will be posted on his Facebook page.  

We hope you will join us in wishing Ed a safe, speedy and successful swim.  His skill and dedication is an inspiration to us all - good luck Ed from everyone at Milton Country Park!