Photos left to right: Changing Places sign, speeches given before the opening by Grant Sorrell (Forest of Marston Vale Commercial Director) and Councillor Mark Smith (Executive Member for Adult Social Care at Central Bedfordshire Council), guests and users enjoying a coffee.

On Thursday 9 May 2024, the MANOP Team coordinated the official opening of a new Changing Places Toilet at the Forest Centre, Millennium Country Park, Marston Moretaine. Part-funded from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities with support from Central Bedfordshire Council, the new facility is wheelchair accessible and provides a fully equipped Changing Place inclusive of a shower, hoist, changing bed, toilet, elevating sink and privacy screens. Service users, friends, and family came along to celebrate the opening, and afterwards enjoyed exploring the Park.


Inside the Changing Places toilet.

Following a successful bid to DLUHC, The MANOP Team secured £169,000 for the development of three Changing Places, helping to make Central Bedfordshire that bit more accessible. In partnership with the Forest of Marston Vale Trust, MANOP project managed the installation of the new facility at the Millennium Country Park so visitors with disabilities can enjoy peace of mind in visiting the attraction.


In welcoming representatives from Central Bedfordshire Council, local support groups and individuals and families who will benefit from the Changing Place, Grant Sorrell, Commercial Director of the Forest of Marston Vale Trust said

 “As one of England’s Community Forests, making green space available to local people is one of our driving forces. The inclusion of a Changing Places Toilet gives more people access to the Millennium Country Park and the physical and mental well-being benefits the Park can offer.


Left: cutting the ribbon, right: users and guests takes a look at the new facility.

Cllr Smith, Executive Member for Social Care, Health and Housing at Central Bedfordshire Council said, “We’re delighted to support the Forest of Marston Vale Trust in opening the country park to people that are sometimes absent from visitor attractions, simply due to a lack of an accessible toilet. Installation of this Changing Place at the Millennium Country Park supports one of our Corporate Objectives ‘enabling people to live their best lives’ and we’re grateful of expert support from SNAP Parent Carer Forum, funding from DLUHC, guidance from MDUK and of course, The Forest of Marston Vale Trust for co-funding installation of the Changing Place.


Think we can do more?

From our new Changing Places toilet, accessible bird hides, to adapted bikes from WheelFree Cycles, we strive to continue to make the Millennium Country Park accessible for everyone to enjoy.

Email [email protected] with any suggestions.