Gillespie Park Nature Reserve in Islington was the venue for Fields in Trust's Annual General Meeting as a year of 90th anniversary celebrations were rounded out by the launch of the organisation's 2015 Impact Report.
Fields in Trust Chairman Tim Phillips welcomed trustees, staff and members to the Islington ecology centre, which was protected in perpetuity in 2011 as part of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge.
At the AGM Chief Executive Helen Griffiths launched the 2015 Impact Report and presented a look back on the highlights of Fields in Trust’s 90th year. The number of sites protected in perpetuity surpassed 2,600 during 2015 with the number of Centenary Fields protected rising to 48, with many more applications and enquiries being processed.
The organisation also held a number of special events to mark the milestone anniversary, led by a pro-celebrity charity cricket match against The Lord's Taverners which saw star names such as Graeme Le Saux, Pat Nevin and Non Evans MBE line up for Fields in Trust. The annual Awards ceremony honoured those working across the country to help safeguard and improve recreational spaces with the evening also seeing Telford Town Park in Shropshire named UK's Best Park following a public vote which saw over 10,000 votes cast. A further 70,000 people, meanwhile, took part in 361 Have a Field Day events on Fields in Trust protected sites across the country.
2015 saw Fields in Trust relaunch its benchmark guidelines for the design of spaces for outdoor sport and play. Beyond the Six Acre Standard reflects recent changes in the planning policy landscape and was released alongside results from a new survey which found that nearly one in five say that their local park or green space is currently or has previously been under threat of being lost or built on.
In Scotland Fields in Trust celebrated its 90th year with a reception at the Scottish Parliament attended by Jamie Hepburn MSP, the then Minister for Sport, Health Improvement and Mental Health, former Scotland Rugby Union Captain Rory Lawson and hosted by Alison Johnstone MSP. Glasgow City Council led the way during the year protecting 26 spaces in perpetuity with Fields in Trust, whilst it was a similar story in Wales with Llantwit Major Town Council protecting all their public green spaces.
The Annual General Meeting concluded with a look ahead to Fields in Trust's work over the coming twelve months, which will see the organisation increase its work in identifying sites at risk and campaigning for their protection alongside continuing to work to celebrate those sites already protected forever.
The 2015 Fields in Trust Impact Report is available to view online, and also to download as a PDF version.