Fields in Trust’s search to find the nation’s favourite park has declared Stanley Park in Blackpool as the UK’s Best Park 2019 following a public vote.
The UK’s Best Park is organised by green space charity Fields in Trust who, for over 90 years, have legally protected parks and green spaces ensuring they will always be available for future generations to enjoy. A record 364 nominations were received for the UK’s Best Park 2019. Those nominations were supported by visitors, communities, Friends of Parks groups, and local authority landowners. An unprecedented total of 36,832 votes were cast for parks and green spaces across the UK.
Stanley Park in Blackpool topped the poll, in its nomination it was described as “a beautiful, tranquil place away from the hustle and bustle of the Blackpool seafront”. The “great volunteers and staff who keep it in tip-top condition” were also recognised in the online nomination.
Stanley Park triumphed over the other Home Nation winners shortlisted for UK’s best park:
- Antrim Castle Gardens, Antrim, Northern Ireland
- Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr Tydfil, Wales.
- Pittencrieff Park Dunfermline, Scotland
In addition, 73 parks and green spaces have achieved “Much Loved” status, having been placed in the top 20% of all UK's Best Park 2019 nominations throughout the UK. The "Much Loved" status recognises the support of local people who regularly use and love these parks and green spaces.
Fields In Trust say the UK’s Best Park Award recognises the role that parks play in our communities, supporting mental and physical health and providing a space for communities to connect. Recently Fields in Trust published the Green Space Index a new barometer of parks provision which revealed that over 2.6 million people across Great Britain live more than ten minutes walk from a park or green space. With public sector cuts leading to pressure on parks and green spaces, there is the risk that a lack of legal protection could lead to more spaces being sold off or developed.
The charity is concerned that many parks and green spaces are under threat and are at risk of being lost to development or a cycle of decline and disappearance.
Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths said, "We received a record number of 364 nominations for local parks and green spaces across the UK - each one setting out what is special about their own green space. Public support has been unprecedented with 36,800 votes cast demonstrating that people really do love their local park. Congratulations to Stanley Park, and to the dedicated volunteer friends’ group and Blackpool council that maintain and support the UK’s Best Park 2019.
"Parks are important places where we all go to play, enjoy sport, relax in natural surroundings and connect with our neighbours. Fields in Trust is committed to protecting these vital parts of the UK’s community infrastructure for future generations to enjoy.”