Nominate your favourite Southend parks as part of UK-wide campaign
We are encouraging residents and visitors to nominate their favourite Southend parks as part of a campaign to find the UK's favourite parks.
We have an abundance of parks and open spaces and last year saw the announcement that seven Southend parks held Green Flag status which recognises well-maintained parks and green spaces across the country which are available to residents and visitors throughout the year.
Priory Park offers scenic walkways and a picturesque pond and is home to Southend's historic bandstand where local musicians and bands play every weekend throughout the summer. Priory Park also boasts four bowling greens, tennis and basketball courts, outdoor table tennis tables, a green gym, formal gardens and the stunning Pritlewell Priory, a 12th century Clunaic Monastery.
Chalkwell Park features beautiful ornamental gardens, colourful bedding displays, an environment garden, a courtyard-style sun garden and a rose garden. Located in the gardens is Chalkwell Hall, a Grade 2 listed building and home to the arts organisation, Metal.
Belfairs Park includes woodland gardens and the Hadleigh Great Wood nature reserve, a Site of Specific Scientific Interest (SSSI) that supports a great diversity of plants, invertebrates, birds and mammals such as the rare heath fritillary butterfly and dormice. Also located at Belfairs Park is the Nature Discovery Centre run in partnership with the Essex Wildlife Trust.
Shoebury Park stretches across 20 acres and is managed to encourage nature with meadows, a beautiful lake, and many trees. It also features a wide range of facilities, including a tennis court, football pitch, basketball court, cricket pitch and a bowling green.
Southchurch Park includes the model boating lake, formal gardens and a wide range of sports pitches. It is also close to Southchurch Hall Gardens which is home to Southend Museums Southchurch Hall, a Grade 1 listed building dating back to medieval times. More recently the Gardens have become locally known as the 'Duck Park', due to the varied species of ducks and geese inhabiting the ponds. If you're lucky you might even spot a terrapin too!
Leigh Library gardens is nestled behind the stunning Leigh Library building. It's a surprising green oasis in the hustle and bustle of Leigh High Street. It's home to a children's play area and lots of benches and picnic spots and even a hidden sunken slide!
Cllr Carole Mulroney, deputy leader and cabinet member for environment, culture and tourism, said: "I am so proud of our parks and open spaces, and I truly believe Southend deserves to be represented on the list of the UK's favourite parks. Our parks have always been admired by those who use them, and more people than ever are visiting these spaces for exercise, meet-ups, fresh air, and to relax.
"Our parks have acted as a refuge for so many of us over the past few years and our parks and gardens team do such a terrific job to maintain them. I urge everyone to take a moment to vote for their favourite Southend parks to ensure they are in the running to be named amongst the UK's favourites. I have submitted my nomination and it took me less than 10 minutes to do. Let's raise the profile of our fantastic City parks!"
How does it work?
Nominations are now open and will close at noon on Tuesday 5 July, so you don't have long to make sure your favourite park is in the running!
All eligible nominations then progress to a public vote. Voting will open at the beginning of July and run for six weeks. At close of voting the parks with the most votes in each of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be named National Favourites and the overall winner the UK's Favourite Park 2022. Any park placing within the top 20% of nominations will receive recognition as a Local Favourite.
For more information and to submit your nomination, visit the Fields in Trust website.
For more information about all of Southend's parks and open spaces see the Visit Southend website.