THREE parks from across the UK have been shortlisted following a nationwide search by Fields in Trust, to find a green space worthy of claiming the title of 'UK's Best Park'.
The three parks, located in Aberdeen, Worcester and Telford, were selected after they each received the most number of public votes following 122 parks being nominated for the title. Over eight thousand public votes were cast throughout the voting process.
The 'UK's Best Park' award forms part of the charity's annual awards ceremony which takes place at Lord's Cricket Ground in London on Wednesday 2nd December and celebrates the great work being done in parks and playgrounds across the UK. Eleven awards will be handed out on the night, with this being the first year that the ceremony has featured a category voted entirely by the public.
The search for the country's best park started around a month ago when communities across the country were encouraged to nominate and vote for their favourite local park, sports field or playground they believed would be worthy of the title.
The parks shortlisted are:
Duthie Park in Aberdeen
Owned by Aberdeen City Council, the park was nominated by Aberdeen-based parenting blogger, Lifewithmunchers.com who said "Not only is it host to regular events for the city, but as the home of the Winter gardens, boating pond, vast green areas and the most outstanding kids' play areas, this park is a great all rounder for a family day out".
Gheluvelt Park in Worcester
Owned by Worcester City Council, the park was nominated by the council because of its interactive water feature, play area surrounded by well maintained gardens a natural area with exercise equipment and views of the River Severn. The park is protected with Fields in Trust as a Centenary Field*.
Telford Town Park in Shropshire
Owned by Telford & Wrekin Council, the park was nominated by a member of 'Friends of Telford Town Park', a group which started in 2003 to help give the park extra care and attention. A member of the friends group nominated the park because of the range of attractions new play features, a sensory garden a fantastic mix of biodiversity and nature reserve as well as the more formal gardens. "Something for everyone in other words". A section of the field is protected with FIT as a Queen Elizabeth II Field**.
The winner of the 'UK's Best Park' title will be announced at the awards ceremony on Wednesday 2nd December in London.
Fields in Trust, which was founded 90 years ago by King George V, has a mission to ensure that everyone – young or old, able-bodied or disabled and wherever they live – should have access to free, local outdoor space for sport, play and recreation.
Helen Griffiths, Fields in Trust Chief Executive said: "Our annual awards celebrate the contributions and achievements of people and organisations who are passionate about green spaces and we thought what better way to reflect this than to have an award category voted by the public.
"We have been overwhelmed by the response we have received to the 'UK's Best Park' award, both with the number of nominations we received and the number of votes cast. What it tells us is that people really do care about their local parks and they are passionate about what they are used for. This was also reflected in some recent research we carried out which revealed that 95% of people believe that parks and play areas should be protected from development."
Other categories at the annual awards ceremony, include, Fields in Trust Community Champion which celebrates advocates of green spaces across the UK, as well as Best Play Initiative to reward those who have encouraged more play and increase usage of a site.
Helen, continued: "All of our candidates shortlisted for our awards ceremony are worthy winners. We wish them all the very best of luck on Wednesday!"
More about the awards can be found online.
For media enquiries, please contact Kirsty Anderson (0131 226 2363), Beth Andlaw, Jack Storry or Andrea Campos-Vigouroux at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 020 7025 7572.
NOTES TO EDITORS
*Centenary Field - 2014 marked the centenary of the start of World War I. To commemorate the occasion, Fields in Trust are pleased to be delivering a nationwide initiative in partnership with The Royal British Legion and, in Scotland, with Poppyscotland.
**Queen Elizabeth II Field - During 2012, Fields in Trust ran their flagship programme The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge. This aimed to protect outdoor recreational spaces across the UK to create a grassroots legacy from the momentous events of 2012: Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
With the support of landowners across the UK we protected a hugely successful 1,596 sites covering 21,128 acres.