Could this be the most beautiful spot in CMK? Grafton Park is a welcome refuge of greenery in the heart of our city centre, yet it is surprisingly little known beyond the people who work in offices nearby. The long, narrow park, located behind the Pinnacle and the Jaipur restaurant, features a winding path accompanied by a small flowing stream which runs through a series of reflective ponds. The east end of the park is also home to ‘The Kiss’; one of CMK’s works of public art. Throughout the park are benches and grassy areas, which can get busy during weekday lunch hours but are remarkably quiet the rest of the time.
However, local people raised the alarm when the park’s distinctive water features suddenly started to dry up. As wildlife was suffering the Town Council urged Milton Keynes Council to identify the problem and get it fixed. The water pump had failed, but a few weeks later a new one was installed. Fortunately fears that fish in the ponds had died turned out to be unfounded as rainwater topped up the oxygen supply just in time!
The pump scare has brought more attention to the park and the Town Council has also raised the neglected condition of the planting with MK Council’s landscape department. CMK Town Councillor Linda Inoki says “The Town Council looks forward to seeing the weeds cleared and more attention being paid to Grafton Park in future, as it is such a wonderful urban oasis for both people and wildlife.”
The park is also directly adjacent to the new Victoria House office development, which when completed will give the park more of a defined edge, creating a real sense of a park in the middle of the city. Much like CMK’s other urban park, Fred Roche Gardens, Grafton Park was originally planned as a green oasis in the middle of a major city centre, and now at last it is getting the chance to really meet that vision.