Britain’s best park revealed

Blackpool’s Stanley Park has been crowned the UK’s best park at the prestigious annual Fields in Trust Awards.

The park was one of 360 nominated by the public for the annual awards ceremony, which was recently held in London.

Stanley Park was designed by celebrated landscape architect Thomas Mawson in the 1920s.

It boasts an Italian marble fountain, boating lake, bandstand, Medici lions, Italian gardens and Art Deco styled café.

Stanley Park’s friends group also works hard to organise free summer entertainment, car shows and plenty of family entertainment.

The finalists shortlisted also included Craigavon City Park in County Armagh, Roath Park in Cardiff and Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire.

On behalf of everyone here at Fields in Trust, I would like to congratulate Stanley Park,’ said Fields in Trust chief executive, Helen Griffiths.

‘The UK’s best park award is open to any green space regardless of whether or not it is protected in perpetuity with Fields in Trust.

‘The people of Blackpool have sent a clear message that they love their local park and I hope that Blackpool council will recognise this by working with us to safeguard Stanley Park as a place for community sport, play and recreation forever.’

Parks minister, Marcus Jones, added his congratulations to Stanley Park.

The public support shown for this park and all the finalists highlights just how much the residents of Blackpool and local communities more widely care about their treasured green spaces,’ he said.

‘Through the new Parks Action Group we have a great opportunity to ensure our parks remain places to be proud of for generations to come.’

The friends group of the year, which recognises the contribution of passionate communities to their local parks, was awarded to Friends of Angel Meadow, Manchester.

The group was formed in 2004 to campaign for the park’s regeneration, and since then has transformed an abandoned, unloved site into a green retreat amid the bustle of the city.

‘On behalf of the team at Fields in Trust, I would like to congratulate all of tonight’s winners,’ added Ms Griffiths.

‘These awards give us the opportunity to shine a light on some of the UK’s most beautiful green spaces up and down the country. Despite their undeniable contribution to the happiness and health of our communities parks and outdoor spaces are often undervalued.

‘This annual event not only gives the public the opportunity to champion their favourite park, but allows us to showcase some of the people and organisations that work tirelessly to ensure the upkeep and community enjoyment of these wonderful spaces,’ she added.

Winners

  • Most Improved Fields in Trust site – Furness Vale Playing Field, Derbyshire
  • Best Have a Field Day – Stanley Park, Lancashire
  • Best Play Initiative on a Fields in Trust site – Wingham Recreation Ground, Kent
  • Getting Active (team sports) Award – Market Drayton Community Amateur Sports Club, Shropshire
  • Getting Active (Individual Sports & Informal Activity) Award – Telford Town Park Arena, Shropshire
  • Friends Group of the Year – Friends of Angel Meadow, Manchester
  • Partner of the Year (local authority) – Belfast City Council
  • Partner of the Year (town & parish councils) – Alcester Town Council, Warwickshire
  • Fields in Trust Community Champion – Marc Ellul, Enfield, and Kazia Knight, West Yorkshire
  • Fields in Trust Young Champion, supported by Groundwork – Kimberley Mpukusa, Swansea
  • UK’s Best Park – Stanley Park, Lancashire
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Jamie Hailstone

Jamie Hailstone

journalist

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