Why are you introducing charges?

Nene Park Trust is a charity with no public funding. Nene Park has seen an accelerated rise in visitor numbers over the past 18 months and with this increase, the requirement for maintaining and renewing the Park’s infrastructure has also grown, along with the ever-rising cost of litter picking and waste management. As a charity with no funding from taxpayers, the Trust needs to secure additional income to continue to invest in the Park.

Introducing parking charges to the car parks at Orton Mere and Thorpe Wood will ensure that we can invest more into these areas of the Park, with the income generated from charges contributing towards the increasing costs of care and maintenance at Orton Mere, Thorpe Wood and the wider Park. 

The introduction of parking charges at Orton Mere and Thorpe Wood brings these car parks in-line with the other paid car parks in the Trust’s estate found at Ferry Meadows, Orton Meadows and Thorpe Meadows.

When will the parking charges start?

The parking charges at Orton Mere and Thorpe Wood will commence from Monday 5 July. Changes to the tariff at Thorpe Meadows will also commence from 5 July. 

What about all the money that Nene Park Trust has in the bank?

Nene Park Trust holds a large endowment fund. However, under its constitution the Trust is only permitted to spend the income generated from its endowment fund and cannot spend the capital. 

Since the Trust began in 1988, other reserves have accrued and, in more recent years, these reserves have been used to improve the Park – including the creation of a new watersports centre and lakeside café, Park signage and furniture and the playgrounds to name just a few. 

The charity relies heavily on the investment income generated from its reserves to fund the day to day running costs of Nene Park. The Trust has a 999 year lease and therefore needs to maintain the real value of its reserves in the long term, so as to generate the much-needed investment income required to protect the Park for many years to come. 

What will the additional revenue be spent on?

The additional revenue will help fund the costs of maintaining and improving the areas at Orton Mere, Thorpe Wood and the wider Park, keeping it clean and tidy for all our visitors to enjoy. 

In addition, some of the funding from car parking may contribute to the costs of providing new facilities in these areas of Nene Park to enable the Trust to continue its programme of improvements for visitors, as set out in our ‘Doing More with More’ 10-year strategy. 

I have a blue badge. How am I affected by the new charging system?

You will be required to pay the standard parking tariff applicable to your length of stay.  All car parks have blue badge holder spaces – please display your blue badge at all times. 

What will the proposed charges be?

The tariff will be £1.50 for the first hour. For those who are using the car park for a longer period, a charge of £2.50 for up to 24 hours will apply. Visitors will need to pay for their parking at the machines at the start of their visit. 

What type of payment system is being used?

Ticketless and cashless pay machines will be installed and visitors will need to pay at the start of their visit. There is no power or internet connection at Orton Mere or Thorpe Wood, so it’s much more difficult and costly for us to put the appropriate infrastructure in place for barriers, as is the case at Ferry Meadows and Orton Meadows. 

It’s also possible that the parking area will be re-configured in the future, so we have decided to opt for a pay solution using solar powered machines. The Trust has opted for the ‘green’ environmentally friendly solar powered and ticketless machines to eliminate the need for paper tickets and additional energy consumption. 

Will you enforce payment?

Yes, we have the ability to enforce payment at Orton Mere and Thorpe Wood. 

Are you offering an annual parking membership?

An annual parking membership will be available to offer a cost effective alternative to regular visitors. The cost of an annual parking membership will be £40, and members will have access to both the Orton Mere car park and the Thorpe Meadows car park as part of the annual fee.  Visit www.sabaparking.co.uk/nene-park-car-parks to purchase your parking membership. 

Parking members will also receive other benefits to use across Nene Park such as 10% discount on retail purchases at the Visitor Centre & Gift Shop and the Lakeside Farm Shop, plus 10% discount on retail purchases and activities at Nene Outdoors Watersports and Activity Centre. 

Parking members will need to take their email confirmation from SABA and a copy of their ID to the Visitor Centre & Gift Shop in Ferry Meadows, where they will be issued with a membership card required to take advantage of these benefits. 

Please note, the parking membership covers one vehicle registration.

The parking membership will not apply at Thorpe Wood as this car park is predominately located for visitors to the golf course and Woodman Pub in that vicinity, rather than as an access point for the Park. 

If I have a Ferry Meadows annual parking membership, can I park in Orton Mere and Thorpe Meadows too?

Ferry Meadows car park members can upgrade their membership to 'Ferry Meadows Plus', to include parking at Orton Mere and Thorpe Meadows for an extra £10 per year (pro-rata to your membership term).  The Ferry Meadows Plus option is also available to new members for £85 per year. To upgrade your membership, or purchase the new Ferry Meadows Plus option, please drop into the Visitor Centre & Gift Shop at Ferry Meadows or email [email protected]

What about parking for groups and individuals that regularly use these areas?

Nene Park Trust will offer free parking to licenced groups and tenants that do not have access to an alternative parking area. These groups will be notified independently.

Patrons to American Golf, Thorpe Wood Golf Course and The Woodman Public House may obtain a parking concession via the parking tablet within each establishment and do not need to pay for parking. 

Is the car park at Thorpe Meadows affected?

The tariff at Thorpe Meadows car park is being amended to be consistent with the new tariff being introduced at Orton Mere and Thorpe Wood. This unfortunately means the free hour of parking will no longer apply, however regular visitors can take advantage of the annual membership for a more cost effective payment solution.

Please ensure you read the terms and conditions carefully on the car park signage to ensure tickets are not purchased in error. We are unable to refund any purchases.