Residents urged to vote for best park
9:40am Monday 24th September 2012 in Latest News
PEOPLE in Swindon are being asked to vote in a competition which could earn either Lydiard Park or Stanton Park national recognition.
The popular green spaces were awarded a Green Flag earlier this year and are now eligible for a People’s Choice Award, which is an annual online vote that gives the public the chance to nominate their favourite park as site of the year.
A record-breaking 1,424 parks and green spaces were awarded Green Flags this year. Green Flag applications are judged against eight key criteria including sustainability, conservation and heritage, and whether the green space is clean and well maintained.
Only green spaces that are open to the public and are free to use are eligible to win a Green Flag through the scheme, which is supported by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and environmental charities Keep Britain Tidy, BTCV and GreenSpace.
Coun Garry Perkins , cabinet member for regeneration and culture who is also responsible for Lydiard Park, said: “We are extremely lucky to have a number of beautiful parks and green open spaces in the borough and it would be great if one of them could receive national recognition.
“I would urge anyone who has a soft spot for either Lydiard or Stanton to vote in the competition to showcase our fabulous parks to the nation.”
Paul Todd, Green Flag Award scheme manager, said: “Our judges have decided on the parks which have reached the high standards of a Green Flag Award but The People’s Choice Award gives the public the chance to decide which park or green space deserves the accolade of the nation’s favourite.”
Voting for the People’s Choice Award winner closes at midnight on October 14.
The Green Flag Award was first launched in 1996 to recognise and reward the best green spaces in the country. It is the national standard for parks and recognises well-managed, high-quality sites with community involvement.
All Green Flag award-winning parks and green spaces are entered in the annual poll, which last year saw thousands of people voting for their favourite green space.
The People’s Choice Award winner for 2011 was The Old Station, Tintern, in Monmouthshire, with more than 2,000 votes.
Representatives from the park received their award from Baroness Hanham, DCLG Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, at an awards ceremony at City Hall, London. More than 13,000 votes were received last year, with almost 2,500 going to the winning site.
Votes for parks and green spaces can be made by visiting www.greenflagaward.co.uk and selecting the region of the favourite park on the map and clicking on vote.