Is Priory Park the best park in the UK?

Priory Park
Priory Park

Could Priory Park be the best park in the UK? We may find an answer to the question after the park was nominated in a national competition

The Fields in Trust UK’s Best Park, 2019 is now open for a public vote to select the nation’s favourite local park.

A total of 364 public nominations for parks and green spaces across the UK have been made – and 33 of these are in the South East region - each one a much-loved part of its local community.

Now it is time to choose the winners via an online public vote at www.fieldsintrust.org/best-park/south-east until noon on Monday 19th August.

Fields in Trust chief executive Helen Griffiths said: “Our parks and green spaces are a vital part of UK community infrastructure.

"We know that they provide benefits to the physical health, mental wellbeing and community connections for people that use them, so we are delighted to see a record number of nominations for the UK’s Best Park award and it is encouraging to see so many people organising picnics with neighbours to celebrate how much they love their local park.

"Fields in Trust is committed to protecting these valuable and much-loved parks and green spaces for future generations to enjoy.”

Fields in Trust is a UK-wide charity that legally protects 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. Last month Fields in Trust published research which revealed that over 2.5 million people across Great Britain live more than ten-minutes’ walk from a park or green space and the South East region has more than 370,000 people whose nearest green space is more than 10-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.

Nominations for UK’s Best Park 2019 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 competition will see the park with the most votes in each of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland shortlisted with the UK's Best Park, 2019 announced in mid-September.