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Protecting parks and playing fields forever
Fields in Trust is the only national charity protecting and improving parks, playing fields and playgrounds. Through our work we create a legacy for sport and play in all communities.
We achieve this through our three core aims:
- To protect recreational space and outdoor facilities in perpetuity
- To help improve these facilities to ensure local access to safe, good quality spaces
- To increase statutory protection for school and community playing fields by effectively lobbying government and engaging public support
Since 1925, our aim has been to ensure that everyone - young or old, living in urban or rural areas - has access to free, local facilities for healthy outdoor activity.
Parks and playing fields play a vital role in creating healthy communities by increasing opportunities for physical activity, promoting social cohesion and improving the local environment.
From playing sport, to taking your children to the swings, going for a walks or having a picnic - 91% of people in the UK believe public parks and open spaces improve quality of life. Yet, every year playing fields are lost forever - 45% of councils are considering either selling them or transferring the management to others.
Fields in Trust protects over 2,600 green spaces and we are committed to safeguarding the future of parks and playing fields across the UK. We protect a wide range of sites including playing fields, multi-sport pitches, children’s play areas, bicycle trails, nature reserves, country parks and many more.
We protect over 2,500 parks, playing fields and playgrounds through legal binding agreements that are both flexible and robust.
Fields in Trust has distributed over £3 million of grants to parks, playing fields and playgrounds since 2010. This has enabled a wide range of improvements including new playground, new sports facilities and wild flower meadows. And it is a secure investment as all the playing fields are protected forever with Fields in Trust. This has been achieved with the support of a range of corporate partners.
Every year Fields in Trust deliver over 350 Have a Field Day events where the community comes together to celebrate their park - school sports days, teddy bear picnics, nature hunts - a wide range of activities for the whole community. Each year over 100,000 have fun at one of our Have a Field Day events. 90% of Have a Field Day organisers feel their Field Day had a positive impact on the wider community.
"We made new friends, our playing field and wildlife pond area is saved and celebrated and best of all, the children have all gone home after having a jolly good old fashioned afternoon of play"
Upper Killay Playing Fields, Swansea
The Fields in Trust Awards recognise and reward the outstanding achievements made by organisations and individuals that have contributed to the success of Fields in Trust during the previous year.
Our Awards Ceremony is held annually at Lord's Cricket Grounds and is a wonderful opportunity for sponsors to engage with a wide range of sport and recreation clubs, local authorities and our strategic partners such as Sport England, the RFU and the FA.
Past comperes have included Fields in Trust Trustee, Graeme Le Saux, Olympic swimmer Steve Parry and sports broadcasters Jill Douglas, Ore Oduba and John Inverdale.
Our annual Awards recognise the value of volunteers and highlights best practice. The 2014 winner for Getting Active on a Fields in Trust site was the Queen Elizabeth II Park View Playing Fields in Lytham. Ten years ago this playing field was a derelict and boggy site with no activities and now Park View can celebrate the achievement of engaging over 15,000 people in 2014.
The UK's Best Park, as voted by YOU! award was introduced in 2015 with Telford Town Park named the inaugural winner. In 2016 over 200 parks were nominated by the public and over 10,000 votes cast as Rouken Glen Park in Giffnock was named the nation's favourite.
Fields in Trust has campaigned to achieve greater protection of and more consistent provision of school playing fields in England. The charity plays an active role on the Department for Education's panel to assess any possible development on these sites.
We have also successfully challenged the process by which potential losses of playing fields are referred to the statutory consultee to ensure that smaller sites such as junior pitches, tennis courts and bowling greens do not fall under the radar of these losses
Our recently published Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play: Beyond the Six Acre Standard builds on our previous benchmark framework The Six Acre Standard and is the go-to reference point for anyone involved in the planning and development of outdoor space for sport and informal play.
Fields in Trust provides support to over 2,600 parks and playing fields.
Each site we safeguard will receive a commemorative plaque as a permanent reminder of its protected status, and will have access to the on-going support we offer, including access to online resources to help ensure the success and sustainability of each outdoor space we protect.
Support includes our Playsure Insurance scheme and we are always looking towards further partnerships and offers.