I have previously stated my love for this park going back to childhood on this site, so I’m naturally delighted Blackpool’s Stanley Park, one of our many jewels in the crown, has enjoyed success, winning the prestigious UK Best Park category at the annual Fields in Trust Awards 2017.
This is a credit to the dedicated Blackpool Council team, now effectively working with restricted resources thanks to imposed cuts, but with the support of volunteers, including Friends of Stanley Park, to keep this park among the elite of the elite. Wherever I go, I refer to this as the finest municipal park in the country and I retain my belief that this is true. The Blackpool community is grateful for those keeping this park in that position, no doubt beyond the call of duty.
Cllr Graham Cain, Cabinet Secretary for Blackpool Council, said:
We’re absolutely delighted our park has been recognised by the public as being the best in the UK and are so proud of the joint effort that goes into keeping it clean, vibrant and somewhere for families to enjoy all year round. Thank you so much to all of you who voted and to everyone who continues to care for our magnificent park.
The park beat off stiff competition from three shortlisted finalists, Craigavon City Park in County Armagh, Roath Park in Cardiff and Rouken Glen Park in East Renfrewshire.
Designed by celebrated landscape architect Thomas Mawson in the 1920s, Blackpool’s Stanley Park boasts a clock tower, Italian marble fountain, boating lake, bandstand, Medici lions, Italian gardens and Art Deco styled café. Not to forget the always improving children’s play area, the skateboard ramps and the competition standard BMX track. There is also permit coarse fishing in the lake, which together with the extensive tree cover, is a wildlife haven, ‘Heron Island’ to the north hosting numerous breeding heron pairs each spring. Together with the Marton Mere Site of Scientific Interest within easy flying distance, the park provides Blackpool with a nature conservation complex many small towns would envy.
The park hosts summer community events such as the Wordpool festival and a concert programme using the beautiful lakeside band stand and amphitheatre. The visitor centre provides a community room, used for hosting Pop Up Picturehouse and much else. The sensory and rose garden with its dragon fly hosting deep ponds, provide space for quiet contemplation.
This park has much for all is rightly recognised as a community hub for all.
Now in their sixth year the Fields in Trust Awards showcases the UK’s best open spaces recognising the achievements of the people whose dedication keeps these vital outdoor spaces available.
Commenting on the 2017 awards Fields in Trust Chief Executive,Helen Griffiths, said:
On behalf of everyone here at Fields in Trust, I would like to congratulate Stanley Park. The UK’s Best Park Award is open to any green space regardless of whether or not it is protected in perpetuity with Fields in Trust. The people of Blackpool have sent a clear message that they love their local park and I hope that Blackpool Council will recognise this by working with us to safeguard Stanley Park as a place for community sport, play and recreation forever.
I am sure that all can concur with Helen’s sentiments that Blackpool’s Stanley Park should be preserved for future generations’ enjoyment and also for its essential nature conservation value.
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