Black Country parks in running to win national award - cast your vote
Eleven parks in a Black Country borough are in the running to win a national award and be crowned the country's best green space, with council bosses urging residents to submit their votes.
The green spaces, located in Sandwell, are up for Keep Britain Tidy’s Green Flag People’s Choice Award - which aims to find the best park in the UK.
The parks already have Green Flag status, which is a benchmark accolade awarded to parks of good quality.
A total of 1,884 parks are in the running for the ward. The 10 most popular ones will be announced in October, before a final winner will be chosen.
Sandwell's contenders include a cemetery, a crematorium and volunteer-run allotment, Sandwell Valley Country Park and community-run Warley Woods.
Warley Woods and Sandwell Valley Country Park have previously made it into the top 10.
Leader of Sandwell Council councillor Steve Eling said: “Parks and green spaces are incredibly important to us in Sandwell.
“We’re very proud to have 11 Green Flag-awarded parks and green spaces, which includes at least one park in each of our six towns.
“I hope people can spare a moment to vote for their favourite and help our parks and green spaces gain the wider recognition they deserve.”
Councillor Richard Marshall, the council’s cabinet member for leisure, added: “So many people have an input into keeping our parks and green spaces looking great – from council staff and the council’s waste partner Serco, to the friends groups, community groups, allotment holders and volunteers.
““To get in the top 10 last year with Warley Woods was great and we’d love to do the same this year – so please, get voting and show your support.”
The nominated parks in Sandwell are: Barnford Park, Oldbury; Brunswick Park, Wednesbury; Dartmouth Park, West Bromwich; Dingley Road Allotments, Wednesbury; Haden Hill Park, Cradley Heath; Sandwell Valley Country Park, West Bromwich; Sandwell Valley Crematorium, West Bromwich; Tipton Cemetery; Victoria Park, Smethwick; Victoria Park, Tipton and Warley Woods, Bearwood.
Warley Woods is a 100-acre community park and is nestled in the town of Smethwick.
It features a mix of woodland, open meadow and a nine hole gold course. It is Grade 2 listed on the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens.
Meanwhile Sandwell Valley Country Park is the largest green space in the borough. It has two working farm visitor centres, an RSPB Visitor Centre which proves a vital home for birds, meadows, woodland, farmland and aerial assault course.
To vote for a Sandwell site, go to www.sandwell.gov.uk/greenflag