Marple Memorial Park is one of the UK's Favourite Parks!
Friends of the Park were delighted to learn that our park was voted by the public as one of 14 favourite parks in the North West in a 2022 poll of the UK's Favourite Parks organised by Fields in Trust. Bramhall Park was the only other Stockport park to make the list, so congratulations to them too.
On Wednesday 23 November 2022, Friends of the Park, Local Councillors, the Council's Neighbourhood Team and TLC Operatives were presented with the UK Favourite Parks Award certificate by Councillor Grace Baynham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Parks and Leisure Services. Friends of the Park made a special request that TLC Operatives who work in the park were present, including a handful of die-hards (hiding at the back of the photo) who've worked with us since we were formed in 2003. Read the full council press-release further down the page.
Memorial Park was nominated by local resident Kathy Davies, who said:
“It’s a real haven in our community, with a playground for little ones and another for older ones. A skate park, boules area, bowling green, basketball and football pitch too, something for everyone. Kindly maintained by the Friends of Memorial Park. A really valued community space.”
Fields in Trust champions and supports parks and green spaces by protecting them for people to enjoy in perpetuity, because once lost, they are lost forever.
Mark Whittaker, who leads the Friends of Memorial Park volunteers said:
“It was fantastic to receive this recognition for our park in its centenary year and we are delighted that the local community got behind us and voted in the poll when we appealed online and on social media. It's been a good year for the park with some great centenary celebrations in July. We've even had our skatepark listed as one of the Top 15 in England in “Skate the States” International Skatepark Directory, so we're on a bit of a roll!”
The photograph submitted with the application and used to promote the park in the vote.
Marple Memorial Park honoured at awards ceremony
Marple Memorial Park and Bramhall Park are two of 70 parks and green spaces from across the UK which have achieved “Local Favourite” status in the Fields in Trust UK Favourite Parks 2022 awards. The status reflects the immense value placed on the park by its local community. Local Favourites status is reserved for parks placed in the top 20% of all votes across the UK and over 30,000 voters supported 364 nominated parks and green spaces throughout the UK.
Representatives of Friends of the Park, Local Councillors, Stockport Council Officers and TLC Operatives.
To celebrate this prestigious award, a presentation ceremony was held at Marple Memorial Park to thank and acknowledge those who work tirelessly to maintain this much-loved Stockport green space. Speaking of the awards, Cllr Grace Baynham, Cabinet Member for Highways, Parks and Leisure Services, said:
I am delighted that two of the council’s parks have received these awards. The awards are very well deserved and are a testament to the efforts of the council's officers, its contractors and the local friends’ groups that have worked so hard to make these parks a wonderful asset for the people of the borough”.
Marple Memorial Park has just celebrated its 100-year anniversary. Dedicated to the memory of the fallen in the First World War after donation by the Carver family, the park has developed a range of facilities and has become the acknowledged centre of Marple. The site now includes a library, a Scout and Guide centre, Senior Citizens Hall, a Clinic, Children’s play facilities, a large skate park and a bowling green, with its own war memorial pavilion.
Friends of Memorial Park are a highly respected and well-established group who look after the park, doing a wide variety of maintenance works and new projects that add huge value.
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.
A sanctuary for local people during the pandemic
Our local parks have acted as a sanctuary for so many of us over the past few years and the UK's Favourite Parks award celebrates the contributions these spaces deliver for our neighbourhoods and communities. Yet not everyone has equal access. Research by Fields in Trust finds that around 2.8 million people across Great Britain live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park or green space. The situation could get worse with a risk that lack of legal protection could lead to more green spaces being sold-off or developed.
Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths said:
Our nation’s parks have been so important during the pandemic, and it is vital that we celebrate them to help ensure they are protected for future generations. Without urgent action, Britain’s public green space is set to decrease, putting more pressure on fewer green spaces to support the health and wellbeing of communities, now and in the future. Our children and grandchildren deserve to have the same access to green space that we do, so we need to act before it’s too late. As well as voting for the local park you love today check to see if it is legally protected. It is within the powers of our local leaders to protect our green spaces and after the pandemic this is a significant moment to change the way we think about the contribution local green spaces make to our health, our wellbeing, our environment, and ultimately our futures.”