Public vote our campus as one of Britain's top ten parks

  • Date

    Wed 24 Nov 21

Wivenhoe Park has retained its place in the UK’s top ten green spaces for the fourth year running after a public vote.

Home of the University of Essex, in Colchester, since the 1960s it is among the ten winners in the Green Flag 2021 People’s Choice Awards – and is incredibly the only university campus to achieve this prestigious honour.

Public vote our campus as one of Britain's top ten parks

Research conducted by Keep Britain Tidy earlier in the year showed that more than nine in ten people (93%) think that parks and green spaces are important to their local community.

Now, those communities have spoken with the vote for the 2021 People’s Choice Awards, run as part of the Green Flag Award scheme, the international quality standard for parks and green spaces, which is celebrating its Silver Jubilee this year.

During October, the public were invited to vote for their favourite park and more than 32,000 did just that and the University of Essex’s Wivenhoe Park campus was voted as one of the nation’s favourites.

Marcus Clayton, Grounds Manager at The University, said: “To be nominated in the top 10 of the People’s Choice Awards for the fourth year running is fantastic news, especially after the last 18 months working on limited resources.

“This achievement is not only down to the whole team here at the University of Essex but everyone that has voted for us. I just want to say a big thank you from me and the team for all for your votes.

“Keeping our green spaces open for all to enjoy is such an important part of the role myself and the whole team play especially given the nature of what we have endured over the last couple of years.

“Green space is very much at the forefront of health and wellbeing and I’m so pleased that we can provide the outstanding outdoor spaces we have here at the University of Essex for all our visitors to enjoy, especially our staff and students that call Wivenhoe park home.”

Boasting three lakes, 2,800 trees, car-free jogging routes and 40 acres of sports fields, the 220-acre Colchester campus is open to the public to enjoy.

It has an incredible history which dates to 1759 when Isaac Rebow asked Thomas Reynolds to build him a mansion house.

The park itself was designed by Richard Woods and was remodelled in 1846-7 by T. Hopper.

It is so beautiful it inspired a masterpiece by famous landscape artist John Constable which now hangs in the National Gallery of Art, Washington DC.

The parkland provides a vital resource to staff, students and the local community.

Joining the University of Essex’s Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, in the People’s Choice ten most popular parks and green space are:

  • Cassiobury Park, Watford
  • Eoropie Park, Isle of Lewis
  • Strathaven Park, South Lanarkshire
  • Valentines Park, Ilford
  • Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets
  • Warley Woods, Smethwick
  • Telford Town Park, Telford
  • National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire
  • Margam Park, Neath Port Talbot

Commenting on the result, International Green Flag Award Manager Paul Todd said: “Congratulations to our ten worthy winners!

“The Green Flag Award includes some of the country’s best-known and iconic parks as well as community green spaces and university campuses.

“To be voted one of the nation’s favourite parks is a real achievement and testament to all the hard work done by the thousands of parks staff and volunteers up and down the country who work tirelessly to make their parks fantastic places that everyone can enjoy.”

This year, 2,127 parks and green spaces met the standard of the Green Flag Award and, as it marks its 25th anniversary, in addition to the People’s Choice, Awards were presented in various categories including Most Improved Space, Best Promotion, Young Volunteer of the Year and Team of the Year. For more details about the awards and the winners, visit

The winners were announced live on YouTube at a special virtual awards ceremony yesterday evening.