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Margam Country Park among UK’s top ten – again

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The top ten rating comes after a UK-wide “People’s Vote” organised by environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy to find the country’s ten best Green Flag Award-winning parks and green spaces.

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The Green Flag Award scheme is the annual international quality standard for parks and green spaces. 

Following this year’s awards, in which Margam Country Park was once again the recipient of a prestigious Green Flag, members of the British public were invited to take part in the “People’s Choice” vote for their favourite park with tens of thousands joining in. 

Margam Country Park emerged as the only park in Wales to be voted into the country’s top ten. It follows a similar outcome of last year’s People’s Choice vote in which Margam also made it into the UK’s prestigious top ten parks and green spaces list.

Since the start of the pandemic, parks have played an important role for communities the length and breadth of the UK. 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 extremely important to their local community.

Now, those communities have spoken with the announcement of the winners in the 2021 People’s Choice Awards, the voting for which was held during October 2021.

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Cllr Peter Rees, Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, said: “Thanks to the tireless work of our amazing staff and volunteers, Margam Country Park is a great place for recreation, sports, play, and relaxation and has yet again been shown, by a public vote, to be one of the very best in Britain.

“I’d like to thank everyone who voted for Margam Park and I am delighted it has once again been recognised in the Green Flag People’s Choice Awards. The park is such an important landmark both for our local residents and visitors and this award shows just how much people value it.”

Joining Margam Park in the People’s Choice ten most popular parks and green space are:

  • Victoria Park, Tower Hamlets
  • Cassiobury Park, Watford
  • Eoropie Park, Isle of Lewis
  • Strathaven Park, South Lanarkshire
  • University of Essex Wivenhoe Park, Colchester
  • Valentines Park, Ilford
  • Warley Woods, Smethwick
  • Telford Town Park, Telford
  • National Memorial Arboretum, Staffordshire

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.”

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Lead image: Margam Castle (Image: Neath Port Talbot Council)

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Margam Park Cherry Trees to celebrate blossoming relationship with Japan

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Six cherry trees gifted from Japan have been planted in Margam Country Park to celebrate enduring friendship between the UK and Japan.

The six Japanese cherry trees – or Sakura in Japanese – are some of more than 6,000 of the trees gifted to the UK as part of the Sakura Cherry Tree friendship project paid for by a variety of Japanese businesses.

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At Margam Country Park on Tuesday (March 22nd, 2022) when the trees were planted were the Honorary Consul for Japan, Mr Keith Dunn OBE, the Mayor of Neath Port Talbot, Cllr John Warman, Neath Port Talbot Council Cabinet Member for Education, Skills and Culture, Cllr Peter Rees and Park Manager Mike Wynne.

The Sakura Cherry Tree Project is a legacy from the Japan-UK Season of Culture 2019-2021 which showcased Japan’s multifaceted attractions in the UK. The season provided the opportunity to learn more about Japan, its culture and people through hundreds of events ranging from arts, sports, cuisine and performance. 

The cherry tree being planted by Mayor Cllr John Warman and dignitaries (Image: NPT Council)

The Sakura Cherry Trees will be distributed to more than 200 sites in all four countries of the UK from St Ives to Aberdeen to Londonderry, Cardiff and several of London’s biggest parks. Around 1,000 of the cherry trees will be planted in Wales.

The project was formally launched with a planting ceremony at Regent’s Park attended by HRH The Duke of Gloucester, the then Japanese Ambassador Yasumasa Nagamine and Joint Chairman of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project Keisaku Sandy Sano.

Members of the public in Wales and the rest of the UK will start to witness the thousands of cherry trees blossom in spring 2022 and beyond. 

All of the varieties of cherry trees to be planted as part of this project are of Japanese origin.  The vast majority will be of three varieties, ‘Beni-yutaka’, ‘Taihaku’, and ‘Somei-yoshino’, which have been chosen for their variation in colour, timing, and historical significance. For example, ‘Taihaku’ is a large, single white blossom variety, which became extinct in Japan but was reintroduced to its homeland by Britain’s Collingwood ‘Cherry’ Ingram in 1932.

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Neath Port Talbot Mayor Cllr John Warman said: “What a fantastic way to commemorate friendship between countries. The planting of these trees will be something that both present and future generations can enjoy. I would like to congratulate all of those involved to make possible such a worthwhile project.”

(Lead image: NPT Council)

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Route announced for Mayor’s charity 10K at Margam Park

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The route for the first ever Parc Margam 10k run has been revealed.

The mixed terrain run is set to take place on Sunday 13th March (10am start) in support of the Mayor of Neath Port Talbot’s Charity Fund.

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The scenic 5k loop will start and finish at the 19th Century Tudor Gothic Mansion, and will showcase the very best of Margam Park. Runners will pass alongside three of the park’s lakes before meandering through its woodland trails and past the fields home to the famous Margam Deer Herd.

Entrants can choose between 10k and 5k routes, and as well as enjoying the run through the historic park, they will help raise funds and awareness for the two very worthy causes – the Neath Port Talbot Cancer Challenge and British Heart Foundation Cymru.

All runners will receive a bespoke participant medal as well as an accurate run time from their timing chip.

To be part of this exciting event, you can register online at: www.margamcountrypark.co.uk/10k . Entry to the race costs £20 per person.

The Mayor of Neath Port Talbot, Cllr John Warman, said: “Whether you want to push yourself, come in fancy dress or just have a gentle run with some friends, the Parc Margam 10k is a great way to blow away the winter cobwebs and get yourself ready for Spring in these breath-taking surroundings.

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“Also you will be helping to publicise and raise money for my two Mayor’s Charities, the British Heart Foundation Cymru and Neath Port Talbot Cancer Challenge (NPTCC).”

Run by volunteers, NPTCC is a local charity that helps local people. Its aim is to help with the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer. The charity raise funds to purchase equipment for local hospitals in Neath Port Talbot, Singleton, Morriston and Bridgend.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) Cymru helps to fund life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases to find better ways of treating, diagnosing and ultimately curing them.

The brand new event is being supported by John Pye Auctions, Auction City, Kenfig Industrial Estate, Margam – Europe’s largest indoor general auction facility.

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New Margam Country Park 10k run aims to raise funds for Mayor’s charity

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The very first Parc Margam 10k run raising money for the Mayor of Neath Port Talbot’s Charity Fund is to get under way in the beautiful surroundings of Port Talbot’s Margam Country Park on Sunday 13 March.

Entrants can choose between 10k and 5k routes and as well as enjoying the run through the historic park, they will help raise funds and awareness for the two very worthy causes chosen by Neath Port Talbot Mayor, Cllr John Warman’s Charity Fund this year – the Neath Port Talbot Cancer Challenge and British Heart Foundation Cymru.

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The brand new event is being supported by John Pye Auctions, Auction City, Kenfig Industrial Estate, Margam – Europe’s largest indoor general auction facility.

The Mayor of Neath Port Talbot, Cllr John Warman, said: “Whether you want to push yourself, come in fancy dress or just have a gentle run with some friends, the Parc Margam 10k is a great way to blow away the winter cobwebs and get yourself ready for Spring in these breath-taking surroundings.

“Also you will be helping to publicise and raise money for my two Mayor’s Charities, the British Heart Foundation Cymru and Neath Port Talbot Cancer Challenge (NPTCC).”

Run by volunteers, NPTCC is a local charity that helps local people. Its aim is to help with the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of all types of cancer. The charity raise funds to purchase equipment for local hospitals in Neath Port Talbot, Singleton, Morriston and Bridgend.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) Cymru helps to fund life saving research into heart and circulatory diseases to find better ways of treating, diagnosing and ultimately curing them.

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The Parc Margam 10k takes place at Margam Country Park on Sunday 13 March 2022 from 10am. Registration costs £20. To revigister and for more information visit margamcountrypark.co.uk/10k .

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