Abington Park voted 'Local Favourite' in Fields in Trust UK’s Favourite Parks 2022 award
18 October 2022
Abington Park in Northampton is one of 70 parks and green spaces from across the UK which has achieved 'Local Favourite' status in the Fields in Trust UK's Favourite Parks 2022 award.
The status reflects the immense value placed on the park by its local community and is reserved for parks placed in the top 20% of all votes across the UK.
Abington Park is Northampton's oldest and most popular park. It contains many fine features including Abington Park Museum, sports facilities, a café, flower displays, lakes, and a garden for the blind. Beneath the surface lies the archaeological remains of the old medieval village.
It has been described by the Trust as: “An outstanding cultural gem that has kept calm while everything around it changed! It has provided generations of families in Northampton with priceless memories and fun. Beautiful and welcoming to all.”
The UK’s Favourite Parks award is organised by green space charity Fields in Trust who, for almost 100 years, have legally protected parks and green spaces ensuring they will always be available for future generations to enjoy. Over 30,000 voters supported 364 nominated parks and green spaces throughout the UK.
Speaking of the award, Chair of the Park Management Committee, Anne Stevens. said:
“We are delighted that Abington Park has been recognised as a ‘Local Favourite’. The park offers a beautiful green space in the very centre of Northampton and this award shows really clearly just how important it is to the local community.
“We have a true passion and dedication for our open spaces in Northampton and this award is a testament to the hard work put in by both the Council’s Parks and Opens Spaces team as well as the Friends of Abington Park and other volunteer groups. Everyone should be incredibly proud of this achievement.
“I would like to thank everyone who cast their vote in favour of Abington Park and encourage all residents to make use of these beautiful grounds.”
Cllr Adam Brown, West Northamptonshire Council's Cabinet Member for Housing, Culture and Leisure, added:
"I am delighted that Abington Park has been recognised as a local favourite by the people who voted. As a former resident of Abington, it is certainly one of my favourites.
"Parks and green spaces are important places of sanctuary from urban life and provide spaces for communities to come together. The events of the past few years have highlighted the importance of being able to access the outdoors and be in green space if we are to look after and nourish our mental and physical wellbeing.
"Thank you to all the staff and volunteers who help to maintain this wonderful space."
With more green spaces nominated in 2022 than ever before, the campaign has illustrated how appreciation of our local parks has grown since the pandemic. In total, over 30,000 people across the UK voted for their favourite park and Penrhos Coastal Park in Holyhead, Wales emerged as the overall winner and UK’s Favourite Park 2022.
Chief Executive of Fields in Trust, Helen Griffiths, said:
"We’ve had a fantastic response to the celebration of our parks from all across the UK and I’d like to thank everyone who nominated and voted over the summer. The UK is home to such a diverse range of green spaces, and we hope that this award has encouraged people to truly appreciate their local parks. Our work to legally protect green spaces for good means we’re well aware of the threats they face and how important it is value and celebrate them.”
Mitigating local impacts of the climate crisis, green spaces have been proven to improve air quality and significantly limit the impact of heatwaves, by lowering urban temperatures. Yet Fields in Trust’s annual Green Space Index, published earlier this year, reveals that 2.8 million people in Great Britain do not live within a ten-minute walk of a local park, and only 6% of green space provision is legally protected leaving it potentially vulnerable to loss for development.