Love for parks initiative wins national award

An area of Alexandra Park in Cramlington.
An area of Alexandra Park in Cramlington.

An online campaign that helped to share Northumberland residents’ love for their local parks has won a national accolade.

Northumberland County Council ran the campaign last July and it has now been recognised as the best in the UK by national environmental campaign charity Keep Britain Tidy at its Network Awards.

The Love Parks Award recognises an outstanding event or campaign that ran during Love Parks Week 2017. Entries were open to all local authorities in England and Wales.

The county council ran a social media campaign to highlight the fantastic features of its parks and the reasons why residents and visitors love them.

Coun Glen Sanderson, cabinet member for environment and local services, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have won this national award.

“People tell us on a daily basis how much they enjoy parks and green spaces across the county and it was extremely good to be able to highlight so many of those reasons through this campaign.

“I would like to sincerely thank all the residents and visitors who took the time to take part.

“It is a great credit to our parks and local services staff who maintain our beautiful Green Flag parks to such a high standard and who have worked closely with our communications team to run a hugely successful campaign that was so highly commended by the judges.”

Pictures and videos were posted on social media throughout the week, building a colourful campaign that demonstrated the features of the 12 parks across the county which are managed by the county council.

It was primarily run through Twitter and Facebook, and the target audience was Northumberland residents and those who visit from the wider region.

Thirty three posts gained a huge 42,059 impressions on Twitter, the equivalent of 13 per cent of the population of Northumberland, and 845 people engaged with the campaign through ‘loves’, retweets, comments or other sharing or feedback.

On Facebook, seven posts and videos reached 146,855 people and were viewed 67,300 times. They were shared 316 times and 746 people reacted to them.

During the week, the county council announced the confirmation of £2.3million National Lottery funding to enable some comprehensive improvement works to take place at Hirst Park in Ashington and a video about the announcement was viewed 219 times.

The things that Northumberland residents and visitors said they love about local parks included enjoying flowers, plants and green spaces, watching wildlife, enjoying water features such as lakes, streams and paddling pools and their provision of sport and leisure activities.