The community is urged to show its support for Cloughmills Bio Park’s bid to be considered the finest green space in the province.
National charity Fields in Trust is looking for Northern Ireland’s Best Park, as selected by an online public vote.
One of seven shortlisted locations, the Cloughmills nomination reads: “Our park enables people and the natural environment to coexist in harmony and is mutually beneficial. It integrates natural play, food growing, biodiversity and seasonal celebrations.
“It is a space for people to connect with each other and the natural world. It enhances physical and emotional well being or happiness.”
Supporters of Cloughmills have until November 9 to register their vote at www.fieldsintrust.org/bestpark/london
Representatives of the park with the most votes will be invited to attend the prestigious Fields in Trust Awards at Lord’s Cricket Ground, London, in November where the UK’s Best Park will be named.
Across the UK nominators include triple gold medal winning Olympian Pete Reed and cricketing legend Sir Geoffrey Boycott, but most of the 200 sites have been chosen by the regular users who love to walk, run, cycle, relax, picnic and play with their children in the UK’s parks.
Helen Griffiths, Fields in Trust chief executive, said: “We want to celebrate the parks and green spaces which are so vital to the communities that use them. A good park is reflective of the community it serves, but, as they are not a statutory service for local councils to provide, these much loved places are increasingly under threat of being lost to development.
“Recognising the UK’s Best Park is a way of revaluing our green spaces; not viewing them just as a drain on resources for maintenance and upkeep - but seeing what benefits they bring; access to good quality recreational space can contribute to the physical and mental health of their local population and provide places for people to get together for community events.”
Fields in Trust legally safeguards over 2,600 parks, playing fields, playgrounds, recreation grounds and other open spaces throughout the UK – a total of 12,000 hectares (30,000 acres).