Fields in Trust – the independent charity that has been protecting parks and green spaces for almost 100 years – has announced that its search for the UK’s Favourite Parks is back this summer, and is calling upon the nation to get nominating now! The hugely popular campaign has returned for the first time since 2019 and will shine a light on the green spaces that hold a special place in our hearts.
Having acted as refuge to many over the past few years, Fields in Trust is bringing back the campaign to find the UK’s Favourite Parks to ensure that they continue to be celebrated in a post-pandemic world.
The charity recently commissioned a study which found that almost half of us have visited local parks more often than we used to as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Coupled with research that has shown that access to nature was one of the main ways people have supported their mental health during lockdowns, Fields in Trust is determined that this year’s campaign celebrates the spaces that gave us so much in our time of need.
This year’s UK’s Favourite Parks campaign is made all-the-more important in light of the Fields in Trust’s recently released annual Green Space Index report. The study – which analyses the provision and distribution of parks and green spaces in the UK – found that 2.8 million people live more than ten minutes’ walk away from a green space. With only 6% of green space legally protected in Great Britain, Fields in Trust worries that this will only worsen in coming years if we do not appreciate and advocate for our local parks.
Chief Executive of Fields in Trust, Helen Griffiths, commented on the campaign’s return, saying:
“There is no doubt that the importance of green spaces has been acutely felt recently, with people increasingly turning to their local parks to find a sense of tranquillity, space, and belonging since the pandemic began. When restrictions were at their highest, many sought refuge in their daily walk around the park; and when restrictions lifted to allow outdoor gatherings, the same parks became the backdrop for reunions with loved ones and new memories made.
“At a time when things were so hard for so many, these places provided respite; now, through our UK’s Favourite Parks campaign, we want to give people the chance to show their appreciation for the green spaces that were there for them.”
The search for the UK’s Favourite Parks starts today, meaning you can nominate your local green space now. Nominations are open until Saturday 9th July before the chosen parks go head-to-head in a public vote.
The UK’s Favourite Parks was first awarded in 2015, and has already handed out the title to three parks from across the UK: inaugural winner, Telford Town Park; Rouken Glen Park in 2016; and Blackpool’s Stanley Park in both 2017 and 2019.
“We are thrilled to be on the search once again for the UK’s Favourite Parks and we have no doubt that we’ll find some absolute gems along the way. We can’t wait to see the places that get put forward. Whether it’s the park you head for when the sun is shining; your favourite place to walk the dog; the place you go to stretch your legs; or your family’s favourite spot to spend quality time together: we want you to nominate your favourite today!”