The Fields in Trust UK’s Best Park, Award is now open for a public vote to select the nation’s favourite local park. A total of 13 cherished green spaces in Wales are featured in the 360 UK-wide nominations, each a much-loved part its local community. Now it is time to choose the winners via an online public vote at www.fieldsintrust.org/bestpark/wales
Nominations include small community gardens and large nature reserves, sports fields and playgrounds, each green space valued by its community and nominated by the regular park users who love to walk, run, cycle, relax, picnic and play with their children in the UK’s parks. The UK’s Best Park Award will see the park with the most votes in each of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland shortlisted and nominators invited to attend the prestigious Fields in Trust Awards at Lord’s Cricket Ground in November where the UK's Best Park, as voted by YOU! 2017 will be named.
Fields in Trust is a national charity that operates throughout the UK to safeguard recreational spaces and campaign for better statutory protection for all kinds of outdoor sites, The latest research from Fields in Trust shows, for the first time at national level, a direct and statistically significant link between public parks and green spaces and health and wellbeing. There is an established link between an individual's use of parks and an improvement in their physical health, life satisfaction, sense of worth, happiness and anxiety levels.
Minister for Local Government, Marcus Jones MP has convened a new Parks Action Group to review how parks meet the needs of local communities.
Appointed to this government advisory group, Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths, said:
” Despite their clear health benefits, parks and green spaces are facing an uncertain future – across the UK outdoor spaces are under threat. The UK’s Best Park Award celebrates the parks and green spaces which are so vital to the communities that use them.
“Recognising the UK's Best Park is a way of revaluing our green spaces; not viewing them just as a drain on resources for maintenance and upkeep – but seeing what benefits they bring; access to good quality recreational space can contribute to the physical and mental health of their local population and provide places for people to get together for community events.”
In 2016 Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire was named UK's Best Park out of a field of 214 nominations this year a much bigger number of 360 cherished local parks have been nominated and are available for public vote on the Fields in Trust website.