The Best Park

Mid and East Antrim Borough joins search for UK’s best park

Marine Gardens Carrickfergus

A nationwide search to find the country’s favourite local green space, as nominated and selected by public vote, has just started. The national charity, Fields in Trust has launched the campaign to find the UK’s Best Park.

This unique award, as voted by the general public, is open to all public green spaces across the UK through a simple online nomination at

Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne

Launching the awards, former England international footballer, Graeme Le Saux, said: “The Fields in Trust’s annual awards are a fantastic way for us to recognise the organisations and individuals who help make our parks, playgrounds and playing fields the best they can be. “I was very fortunate that growing up in Jersey I had a huge amount of access to outdoor spaces and it was something I really appreciated as a youngster, not just because I wanted to be a football player but also because I was able to spend time outdoors with my friends. I understand the importance of these spaces and the opportunities they provide for our communities.

People’s Park, Ballymena

It might be that a local park is ideal for a Sunday afternoon stroll, or a neighbourhood playground is a hive of activity for children, or a nature reserve provides a stress-free space to relax. Either way, this is a chance to get everyone’s favourite space the recognition it deserves.”

Three of Mid and East Antrim Borough’s parks are in the running for the UK’s Best Park Award:

  • Carnfunnock Country Park, Larne,
  • Marine Gardens, Carrickfergus and
  • The People’s Park, Ballymena.

All residents are encouraged to show what these green spaces mean to them and to cast their vote at nomination at Voting has already opened for the nominated parks. The park with the most votes in each of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland will then be shortlisted.

Nominators will be invited to attend the prestigious Fields in Trust Awards on Wednesday 30th November where the ‘UK’s Best Park- as voted by YOU! 2016’ will be named.


End August 2015 events Carrickfergus Parks

Sunflower Competition – NOW!

It’s time to measure your sunflower! Entrants aged 15 and under should measure the size of their sunflower during the last week of August using a metric tape measure and complete the entry form, and return by the 1st September to: Carrickfergus in Bloom, Museum & Civic Centre, 11 Antrim Street, Carrickfergus. Application forms are available from Council buildings, local press or can be downloaded at:

Outdoor Theatre – A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Friday 28th August

On Friday 28th August 2015 in Shaftesbury Park, Carrickfergus. Gates open 6.30pm, show starts 7.30pm. Set on that most dangerous of nights when fairies are abroad and nothing is as it seems four young, unsuspecting, lovers become entangled in their magical affray and soon no mortals are safe in those bewitched and bewitching woods outside Athens….  Admission is FREE but entry is strictly on a first come, first-served basis, so arrive early to avoid disappointment. Link:

Salthill Community Fun Day – Saturday 29th August

Come along to the community fun day on Saturday 29th August from 12 to 4pm. at Salthill Playing Fields, Carrickfergus. There will be plenty of fun for all the family including an assault course, bungee run, bouncy castles, petting zoo and much more! FREE Event.  Link:

Teddy Bears Picnic, Carrickfergus – Monday 31st August

If you go down to the woods today, you’re in for a big surprise… the annual and always very popular Teddy Bears’ Picnic returns to Marine Gardens on Monday 31st August 2015 from 12 to 4pm. The event features an abundance of teddy bear- themed entertainment for all of the family! Particularly aimed at pre-school and primary school children. FREE Event. Link:


Larne’s Dixon Park Gets Green Flag

Larne Dixon Park Gets Green Flag
Larne Dixon Park Gets Green Flag

Mayor praises parks’ staff and community supporters as Green flag raised over Larne’s Dixon Park

Mid and East Antrim Borough Council recently welcomed the quadruple award of a prestigious ‘Green Flag’ for all its entries in the UK-wide environmental scheme. Now Larne staff and community supporters have been praised for their efforts in achieving the prestigious accolade for Dixon Park.

The Mayor, Councillor Billy Ashe, has personally met staff and volunteers to convey his appreciation. He is pictured here with Parks Manager Ben Simon, local residents including Ann Marshall, Chair of the Resident’s Association, and Alphonsus McIllwaine who maintains the site, as they prepare to fly the flag at the popular location.

Cllr Ashe said: “The hard work, professionalism and dedication of the staff – and supporters in the community – has paid off in the award of the Green flag.” The Mayor added: “This also visibly demonstrates to the local community and councillors that the sites are being well-managed for the benefit of the local community and local wildlife. We were awarded the Green Flag across Diamond Jubilee Wood, Whitehead; Bashfordsland Wood/Oakfield Glen, Carrickfergus, People’s Park, Ballymena  and of course, Dixon Park, Larne. “Dixon Park originally received the Green Flag in 2012, making it the first park in Mid and East Antrim Borough to have this award, and local parks staff and the Dixon Park Resident’s Association are keen that this beautiful community park continues to flourish and to be at the forefront of new developments. “The more Green Flag Awards a local authority has, the more it demonstrates best value for the council and the local community,” he said, adding that it is also a great attraction for tourism.