The Fields in Trust UK’s Best Park 2019 is now open for a public vote to select the nation’s favourite local park.
A total of 364 public nominations for parks and green spaces across the UK have been made - and now it is time to choose the winners via an online public vote which is open until noon on Monday 19th August.
Voting opened to coincide with “Have a Field Day” on Saturday 6th July, the annual celebration of parks and green spaces. Over 250 community-led events engaged thousands of people across the UK this past weekend - with people coming together, celebrating local parks and green spaces and joining a movement of fellow park users across the UK who want champion their parks and protect them for future generations to enjoy.
Fields in Trust is a UK-wide charity that legally protects parks and green spaces in perpetuity. The UK’s Best Park Award recognises the role that parks play in communities, supporting mental and physical health and bringing people together. 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. Last month Fields in Trust published research which revealed that over 2.5 million people across Great Britain live more than ten minutes’ walk from a park or green spaces. 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 being sold off or developed.
Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths said, “Our parks and green spaces are a vital part of UK community infrastructure. We know that they provide benefits to the physical health, mental wellbeing and community connections for people that use them, so we are delighted to see a record number of nominations for the UK’s Best Park award and it is encouraging to see so many people organising picnics with neighbours to celebrate how much they love their local park. Fields in Trust is committed to protecting these valuable and much-loved parks and green spaces for future generations to enjoy.”
Nominations include small community gardens and large nature reserves, sports fields and playgrounds, each green space valued by its community and nominated by the regular park users who love to walk, run, cycle, relax, picnic and play with their children in the UK’s parks. The UK’s Best Park 2019 will see the park with the most votes in each of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland shortlisted with the UK's Best Park, 2019 announced in mid-September.