Kings' Park in Retford has been voted by the public as the Best Park in the East Midlands in Fields in Trust’s UK’s Best Park 2019. The nomination identified Kings' Park as “a sheer delight” it continues: “It's very well maintained, colourful and a lovely place for a relaxing stroll or to just sit and watch the world go by”.
The UK’s Best Park is organised by green space charity Fields in Trust who, for over 90 years, have provided legal protection to parks and green spaces ensuring they will always be available for future generations to enjoy. A record 364 nominations were received for UK’s Best Park 2019, of which 16 were in the East Midlands region. Those nominations were supported by park users, communities, Friends of Parks groups, and landowners and an unprecedented total of 36,832 votes were cast for parks and green spaces across the UK.
In addition, three other parks and green spaces in the East Midlands have achieved “Much Loved” status as having been placed in the top 20% of all UK's Best Park 2019 nominations throughout the UK. The "Much Loved" status recognises the support of local people who use and love these parks and green spaces:
- Abington Park, Northampton, Northamptonshire
- Gedling Country Park, Nottingham, Nottinghamshire
- Markeaton Park, Derby, Derbyshire
Fields in Trust is a UK-wide charity that since 1925 has been legally protecting parks and green spaces in perpetuity. The UK’s Best Park Award recognises the role that parks play in our communities, supporting mental and physical health and bringing people together. The charity is concerned that many parks and green spaces are under threat and are at risk of being lost to development or a cycle of decline and disappearance.
Fields in Trust recently published research which revealed that over 2.5 million people across Great Britain do not have local access to a park or green space and the East Midlands region has more than 228,000 people whose nearest local park is more than ten minutes-walk from home. With public sector cuts leading to pressure on parks and green spaces, there is the risk that a lack of legal protection could lead to more being sold off or developed. Yet these vital outdoor spaces deliver health and wellbeing benefits to those that use them regularly. Fields in Trust research reveals that overall parks and green spaces contribute £34 billion each year in health and wellbeing benefits to their regular users and save the NHS £111million each year simply in avoided GP appointments.
Councillor Julie Leigh, Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods at Bassetlaw District Council said: ‘I am thrilled that Kings’ Park has been voted by the public as the best park in the East Midlands in the Field’s in Trust UK’s best park 2019.
‘Kings’ Park is a beautiful place with a wonderful variety of facilities to suit every one. Thank you to everyone who voted and special thanks to all of the staff who have worked so hard over many years to create and maintain this beautiful space in the heart of Retford.’
Fields in Trust Chief Executive, Helen Griffiths said: “Congratulations to Kings' Park and all the other “Much Loved” parks and green spaces in the East Midlands. We know that parks provide benefits to the physical health, mental wellbeing and community connections for people that use them. It is encouraging to see so many people celebrate how much they love their local parks. Fields in Trust is committed to protecting these vital parts of the UK’s community infrastructure for future generations to enjoy. We know that green spaces are good, do good and need to be protected for good.”
Last Updated on Thursday, December 19, 2019