Earlier this week we announced the parks which you have voted as the UK's Favourite Parks 2022. Whilst Penrhos Coastal Park in Holyhead took the overall title, the winner of England's Favourite Park 2022 was Blackpool's art deco Stanley Park, the third time it has won the national title for England and giving it the coveted status of an English National Treasure.
It is the first time that a park has received this status through the UK's Favourite Parks award, demonstrating the incredible love the Blackpool's residents and visitors alike retain for the green space year-in year-out. It was named as the overall winner of UK's Favourite Parks in both 2017 and 2019.
Stanley Park was one of 296 nominations for UK's Favourite Parks 2022 in England, with the 51 nominations in the North West the most of any region. Over 30,000 votes were cast across the UK for parks which are special parts of local communities and Stanley Park received the most support of all the nominated parks in England.
Receiving an estimated two million visitors annually, the park was opened in 1926 and as well as an abundance of sporting facilities boasts a number of iconic features. Impressive Italian Gardens at its centre are flanked by an Art Deco café, features which were both highlighted by the park's nominator for UK's Favourite Parks 2022. Notable features also include a clock tower in memory of the first mayor of Blackpool, Dr William Cocker, and a bandstand with amphitheatre-style seating which is home to regular concerts and performances, all framed by a boating lake.
The bandstand at Stanley Park is a popular venue for concerts and performances and overlooks the park's boating lake.
Reacting to the news, Chair of the Friends of Stanley Park, Nigel Patterson, said: "I am gobsmacked for us to have been awarded the Favourite Park in England for the third time and to have been granted National Treasure status. It is so heartening that our park is perceived by our visitors in such high regard and is great news following the pandemic and the noticeable increase in footfall to our park.
"Stanley Park is a national treasure! This award is testimony to the work our local council and volunteers do in making it such an attractive and interesting park to visit. We would like to thank all our visitors for their continuing support in voting and showing their appreciation of our magnificent park. We are very honoured to achieve this status."
Stanley Park came into the 2022 UK's Favourite Parks award as one of three parks eligible to attain National Treasure status. Rouken Glen Park in Scotland and Antrim Castle Gardens in Northern Ireland have both also won their respective national titles twice and will be joined next year by Craigavon City Park, Northern Ireland winner this year and in 2017, in seeking to become the UK's second National Treasure.
The final Home Nation winner in UK's Favourite Parks 2022 was Seaton Park in Aberdeen, with all four national winners joined by 70 parks which have attained 'Local Favourite' status having finished in the top 20% of the public vote, demonstrating the love the local communities have for these spaces.
Congratulations to Stanley Park on becoming an English National Treasure and to all the parks celebrated by their communities as part of UK's Favourite Parks 2022. The award will return next summer to find more of our favourite local green spaces. To be amongst the first to hear when nominations open for UK's Favourite Parks 2023 please sign-up to receive our monthly e-bulletin.
By demonstrating our love for local parks, we can champion what they mean to communities and in turn help make the case for their long-term protection. Without legal protection our local parks can so easily be lost. And once lost, a green space is lost forever. You can play your part in this protection of treasured local parks by making a donation to support Fields in Trust's work.