A public park used by over 35k people from across Lancashire each year has been legally protected from future development, thanks to a national campaign launched to find and protect green spaces throughout the country.
The Jubilee Recreation Ground in Adlington, Lancashire, is one of more than 100 sites that was identified as a potential ‘Carnegie’ field by members of the public as part of the search launched by the Carnegie UK Trust and Fields in Trust to find and protect over 900 ‘lost’ playing fields. The fields were set up with the aid of a grant of £200,000, the equivalent of £10m in today’s money, from the Carnegie UK Trust between 1927 and 1935. As part of the nationwide #FieldFinders search over the last year, Fields in Trust has analysed the submissions and shortlisted 20 sites that have been formally identified as ‘Carnegie’ sites and made an approach to their owners to improve the legal protections associated with their site to help protect them from future development.
Alongside the Jubilee Recreation Ground, which was identified as an historic Carnegie field by Adlington resident and member of Adlington Town Council, Jeanette Lowe, other successful sites have also been discovered in Lossiemouth in Scotland, Lydbrook in Gloucestershire, Stalham in Norfolk and Harpenden in St Albans.
Douglas White, Head of Advocacy at Carnegie UK Trust, said: “A requirement of the original grant made by the Carnegie UK Trust more than 80 years ago to establish playing fields throughout the country was that these green spaces would remain public areas for the community in perpetuity. The aim of the new #FieldFinders campaign was to ensure that this legacy lived on.
“We were absolutely inundated with requests from members of the public upon launching the search last year and we are delighted with the result of being able to identify so many. Filtering through the entries and pairing them with the original 900 Carnegie fields sites is no mean feat and we thank the Fields in Trusts team for all of their efforts.”
The shortlisted sites were also invited to apply for two improvement grants worth up to £5k as part of the campaign and the Jubilee Recreation Ground was successful in winning one of these. Lindsey Blackstock, Parks and Open Spaces Officer of Chorley Council, said: “We are over the moon that the site has been granted legal protection from any future development. This will ensure the park can be enjoyed for generation after generation. The improvement grant will also go a long-way towards helping us make our new toddler area a reality. It will make a great addition for local families.”
Helen Griffiths, Chief Executive at Fields in Trust, said: “Playing fields are places to relax, play sports or hold community events. Ensuring they are around for years to come is an utmost priority and we thank everyone throughout the UK who over the last year got involved in the search for the lost fields. Whilst the process of narrowing down relevant sites is time consuming, the end result of seeing a site receive legal protection is worth every minute spent.”
A plaque has now been erected in the Jubilee Recreation Ground to recognise it as a protected Carnegie-Fields in Trust site.
- More information on the #FieldFinders campaign
- Image Above: The Jubilee Recreation Ground in Adlington Chorley Lancashire is awarded the Fields in Trust Carnegie Trust Plaque; Douglas White Head (right) of Advocacy at Carnegie UK Trust presented the award to Cllr. Adrian Lowe watched by Cllr June Molyneaux right and Lindsey Blackstock left from Chorley Council