Colchester campus retains place in top 10 UK parks

  • Date

    Thu 17 Oct 19

Wivenhoe Park has been voted among the top parks in the UK for the second year running.

The 220 acre park, home since the 1960s to the University of Essex, is one of ten winners in the 2019 People’s Choice Awards. It is the only university campus to achieve this honour.

Wivenhoe Park has a rich history. Thomas Reynolds was asked to design Wivenhoe House in 1759. The Grade II mansion survived England's worst-ever earthquake in 1884 and is now a four star hotel. John Constable painted the park in 1816. His masterpiece hangs in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

Today, our campus is home to three lakes, 2800 trees, car-free jogging routes, one of the UK’s only frisbee golf courses and 30 acres of sports fields, as well as a wide range of wildlife.

Professor Lorna Fox O’Mahony, Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, said: “Wivenhoe Park provides an amazing resource for staff, students and the local community. This year, we celebrated a third successive win in the Green Flag Awards and to follow this with a second year in the People’s Choice top 10 – the only university to receive this award once again – is an unbelievable achievement. Our thanks go to those who took the time to vote for Wivenhoe Park and to our amazing Grounds team, whose incredible work, year round, makes our campus such an inspiring place to work and study.”

The People’s Choice Awards allow the UK public to vote for their personal favourite among the 1800 publicly-accessible parks that received a Green Flag Award in 2019.

More than 45,000 votes were cast this year.

Wivenhoe Park recently retained its Green Flag Award - the third year in which our campus has received this honour. Green Flag Award winners have the highest possible environmental standards, are beautifully maintained and have excellent visitor facilities. A Green Flag Award winner can claim to be among “the very best parks and green spaces in the world”.

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award manager, said: “We know that parks matter to people and that receiving a Green Flag Award brings a real sense of achievement and pride to staff, volunteers and the community.”

“The number of people that took the time to vote for their favourite park is testament to how much these spaces are valued and we congratulate this year’s top ten.”