Voting for UK's Favourite Parks opened a week ago and you have already been voting in your thousands for parks across the UK which are close to your hearts. We can now reveal the ten parks who receive our first weekly recognition, as the 'fastest starters' in the public vote.
You nominated 364 parks and green spaces across the country for UK's Favourite Parks 2022. The nominated parks span all four Home Nations and the stories of why you nominated them reflect just how important our green spaces have been to us all over the last few years. To support our mental health, as places to connect safely with loved ones and spaces to get outdoors and active, parks have been sanctuaries to so many like never before.
Each of the 364 nominated parks are loved by those who used them regularly. Parks of all types and sizes serving communities of all types and sizes.
Over 5,000 votes have already been cast in total for UK's Favourite Parks 2022 and these 'fastest starters' are the ten parks who have received the most votes in the first seven days of voting. In recognition, they will have a special badge displayed next to their nomination for the next seven days. They are showcased below in alphabetical order, along with why they are so special according to their nominators:
Aden Country Park
"Aden Country Park has been an amazing space for people to relax and engage with nature over the last few years. Since the lockdown more nature has emerged in the park which visitors love to see when walking in the park."
"The Botanic Gardens has been part of my life since I was a baby. In fact, my wedding photographs were taken here, surrounded by beautiful flowers. There's so much to see and do including a lake, fernery and even an aviary. Brass bands and other events make it a lovely place to be."
"Bradgate Park is a treasured medieval deer park, landscape of hills, rocky outcrops, the River Lin, the deer herd and ruins that were once Lady Jane Grey's home. The park is special for many people who love picnics on the flats, spotting the deer or climbing up to Old John."
Cae Glas Park
"Everyone is made welcome, it has a great range of facilities, brilliant free events through the year, the staff are friendly and look after it really well. Plus it is absolutely beautiful!"
Ferry Meadows in Nene Park
"There is something for everyone - plenty of open green space as well as woodlands, lakes, meadows and the river. There are play areas for children, wheelchair accessible paths, trails for walking and cycling and water sports for hire."
Pembrey Country Park
"The country park provides a sanctuary of tranquillity, a few steps into the pine forest or along the beach has a profound calming effect on wellbeing. Meeting friends & family in a safe, green & welcoming space, being able to join in activities & discover nature on the doorstep."
Penrhos Coastal Park
Holyhead, Isle of Anglesey
"It's ancient woodland which is so full of diversity also a red squirrel stronghold, the beauty of the place is something to see. Its breath-taking scenery, tranquil setting and all the flora and fauna that makes this place so magical. Visit and fall in love with the place."
Rimrose Valley Country Park
"Rimrose Valley Country Park is the green lung of South Sefton, the only major green space in the whole area. It is a natural country park teeming with wildlife and is an oasis of calm in an over-polluted urban and industrial area. I love its wildness and the sense of peace there."
York, North Yorkshire
"Rowntree Park is a community-led park. Volunteers garden, litter-pick, run events, education sessions, MHWB programmes and more. A mix of historical elements and more wild elements - more biodiversity with new wildlife areas and native planting. So much for all ages."
"Zetland Park is the heart of Grangemouth in the last two years it undergone a significant regeneration. It has a range of facilities including an inclusive play area, pump track, a performance area, pond, wildflowers, war memorial and historic fountain."
There are plenty more nominated parks not far behind these 'fastest starters' after just one week of voting, however. With five weeks remaining until votes close there is plenty of time to help your favourite park be named amongst the UK's favourites. As well as the overall UK's Favourite Park 2022 and National Favourite in each Home Nation, the 73 parks who finish in the top 20% of the public vote will achieve 'Local Favourite' status recognising the love shown for them by their local communities.
If you haven't cast your vote yet then it only takes a few moments to do so - simply search the list of nominations for parks near you, chose your favourite and submit your vote. Don't forget to click the link in the email you receive to verify your vote else it won't count towards your park's total!
By demonstrating our love for our 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. As well as voting for your favourite local park, you can play your part in this protection of treasured local parks by making a donation to support Fields in Trust's work.
Fields in Trust is the only national charity working across the UK to legally protect parks and green spaces for good. We already protect nearly 3,000 parks across the UK, but up to 94% of green spaces could remain endangered. With your help we can change that, for good.