Four local green spaces shortlisted following public vote with overall winner announced later this month.
Four parks from across the UK have been shortlisted in Fields in Trust's search to find the UK's Best Park. Castle Gardens in Antrim, Pontypool Park in Torfaen, Preston Park Rockery in Brighton and Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire have each been shortlisted following a public vote which saw over 200 parks nominated and in excess of 10,000 votes cast.
Any local green space was eligible to be nominated by members of the public in the award which is being run by national charity Fields in Trust. A total of 214 nominations for much loved community spaces across the UK were received, with all nominated parks progressing to a public vote. Over 10,000 votes were cast with the top four parks shortlisted. The overall winner and UK's Best Park 2016 will be announced at the Fields in Trust Awards on 30th November at Lords Cricket Ground.
Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths said: "The number of parks nominated and votes cast show just how much the UK's local green spaces are cherished by the people who use them. Recognising the UK's Best Park is a way of revaluing our green spaces and seeing what benefits they bring; access to good quality recreational space can contribute to the physical and mental health of their local population and provide places for people to get together for community events from pre-school children to retired adults.
"I congratulate the four shortlisted parks and wish them all the very best of luck at the Fields in Trust Awards later this month."
Castle Gardens in Antrim was described as "a real jewel in the crown" of the town of Antrim as part of its nomination. It features beautifully restored historic gardens and is used extensively by the local community.
Pontypool Park in Torfaen is loved by those who use it as “relaxing, tranquil, exhilarating and cheerful”.
Preston Park Rockery in Brighton, "a vibrant mix of horticulture, wildlife and beautiful landscaping", is the largest municipal rock garden in the UK.
Visitor numbers at Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire reached nearly 1,000,000 last year and it was described as "a place for people and nature" as part of its nomination.
The nominators of each of the four shortlisted local green spaces have been invited to Lords Cricket Ground to represent their parks at the Fields in Trust Awards on 30th November, where the overall winner and UK's Best Park 2016 will be named.
The winner will take over the mantle of UK's Best Park from Telford Town Park in Shropshire which was named the public’s favourite local green space in the inaugural vote in 2015.
UK's Best Park is one of a number of awards which will be presented to recognise and reward the efforts and achievements of green spaces and those who work on and for them to make them the best they can be.
Fields in Trust is a national charity that operates throughout the UK to safeguard recreational spaces and campaign for better statutory protection for all kinds of outdoor sites. It legally safeguards over 2,600 parks, playing fields, playgrounds, recreation grounds and other open spaces throughout the UK – a total of 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres).
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