Access for MKNHS members to Elfield Nature Park

The largest pond at Elfield Park by Andrew Coupe. 14 July 2007

The largest pond at Elfield Park by Andrew Coupe. 14 July 2007

Elfield Nature Park, situated close to The National Bowl and Furzton, is a hidden gem. This site was adopted by The Parks Trust in 2006 and is used exclusively for environmental education sessions – for both children and adults – and wildlife conservation. Because the site has a history of motorcycle use, it is closed to the general public.

In recent years Martin Kincaid and other Parks Trust staff have opened up the site for summer visits by MKNHS and a number of members will have visited. Although small (4 hectares), Elfield Nature Park boasts a good variety of habitats with oak woodland, mature scrub, open grassland and a series of ponds connected by a drainage ditch. Since the site is quiet and usually undisturbed, it abounds with wildlife.

The Parks Trust is now offering exclusive visitor access to this site for MKNHS members who would like to record flora and fauna here.  Relatively few ecological surveys have been undertaken so far, although we do have records of dragonflies, bees, butterflies, nesting birds and bats. The site is particularly rich in invertebrate life. Among the many species recorded thus far are Willow Emerald Damselfly, Purple Hairstreak, Water Stick Insect and the nationally scarce bee Lasioglossum pauxillum. However, as some of you know, the site also produces interesting plants, fungi, birds and mammals as well as being arguably the best amphibian site in Milton Keynes! It should be possible to leave kit on site here (e.g. trail cameras, pit fall traps) without fear of human disturbance. We would simply ask that all species records you make at Elfield Park are shared with The Parks Trust and Bucks and Milton Keynes Environmental Records Centre (BMERC).

As this is a secure nature reserve, anyone wishing to visit to watch and record wildlife will need two keys – one for the gates and another to open the security barrier off Watling Street. These keys, together with an info pack about the site, will be provided to Society members on receipt of a refundable £10 deposit. This sum will be refunded on return of the keys.

If you would like to apply for a set of keys, please contact Martin by email:  Alternatively, speak to Martin at one of our outdoor meetings over the summer.