Celebrating our love of local parks

In May Fields In Trust launched a Summer of Parks celebration by releasing the Green Space Index, an innovative new barometer of publicly accessible park and green space provision.

In the time since it has championed the nation's parks and green spaces and you've been getting involved in phenomenal numbers.

On the first Saturday in July over 250 communities celebrated their local parks by hosting a record number of Have a Field Day picnics.

An all-time high 364 nominations were made for UK's Best Park 2019 and in the time since an unprecedented number of votes have been cast - over 25,000 to date.

With this backdrop of the love communities across the country are showing for their local parks and green spaces this summer, the UK's Best Park 2019 award will not just be showcasing the parks to receive the highest vote tallies in each Home Nation. Each park to place in the top 20% of the total nominations will receive "Much Loved" status, recognising the support it has received this summer from those who use and love it.

Each "Much Loved" park will receive a formal certificate denoting its status. The park's nominator for UK's Best Park 2019 will also receive acknowledgement that their favourite local green space is amongst the nation's favourites.

The organisation's Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces research found that parks and green spaces provide the UK population with over £34 billion of health and wellbeing benefits each year, a result of people enjoying greater life satisfaction including both improved physical and mental health through use of these spaces.

But parks and green spaces are not equally distributed. The Green Space Index figures show that whilst there are 216,160 hectares of park and green space provision in Great Britain, 2.6 million people do not have access to such a space within a ten-minute walk of where they live and less than 6% of the total provision is protected in perpetuity.

Voting for UK's Best Park 2019 will close in ten days' time, at noon on Monday 19th August. In announcing the "Much Loved" parks and overall winner in each region and nation Fields in Trust will journey around the UK over the course of twelve days, the schedule for which can be found below, highlighting and celebrating the spaces in each location which are much loved by those who use them.

  • Tuesday 20th August – East of England
  • Wednesday 21st August – London
  • Thursday 22nd August – South East
  • Friday 23rd August – South West
  • Saturday 24th August – West Midlands
  • Sunday 25th August – East Midlands
  • Monday 26th August – Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Tuesday 27th August – North East
  • Wednesday 28th August – North West (plus announcement of England overall winner)
  • Thursday 29th August – Wales
  • Friday 30th August – Northern Ireland
  • Saturday 31st August – Scotland

The four Home Nation winners will provide the shortlist for the overall winner of UK's Best Park 2019, which will be announced at the conclusion of the Summer of Parks on Thursday 12th September.

If you have yet to cast your vote for UK's Best Park 2019 then there's still time to make your choice and help to show how much loved your local park is. Voting closes at noon on Monday 19th August.

Vote now!

The Summer of Parks also has four topics of discussion remaining over the coming weeks; starting with organised sport in parks and moving on to universality of parks and health and wellbeing before concluding with a discussion on protecting our parks.

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