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Centenary Fields is working across the UK in partnership with The Royal British Legion to secure recreational spaces in perpetuity to honour the memory of the millions of people who lost their lives in World War I.
The Centenary Fields programme was launched in 2014 by Fields in Trust President HRH The Duke of Cambridge.
Delivered in partnership with The Royal British Legion, it is proving to be a unique way to commemorate the World War I centenary and remember those who lost their lives during the conflict, by protecting outdoor recreational space in perpetuity for the benefit of future generations.
Landowners across the UK are encouraged to dedicate a recreational space as a Centenary Field. Suitable spaces include war memorial playing fields and recreation grounds, memorial gardens, parks or recreation grounds that contain a war memorial and other valued green spaces that have some significance to WWI, either existing or planned.
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There are many ways in which you can get involved with the Centenary Fields programme. Find sites already protected as Centenary Fields near you, let us know if you think a site near you may be suitable as a Centenary Field, organise a Centenary Have a Field Day on your local protected Centenary Field, or donate to the programme to help us achieve our targets.
By dedicating land through the Centenary Fields programme you can ensure your valuable green space is protected as a living remembrance to those who fought and lost their lives in World War I. At the same time your local community will be pleased that their local outdoor space is protected for future generations and will always be there. Dedicating a Centenary Field is also in keeping with the spirit of The Armed Forces Community Covenant. Find out more about how to apply to dedicate a space you own as a Centenary Field.
Countless sports clubs saw war stop play during World War I as many players and sometimes even entire teams went to the front line. We want to ensure their sacrifice is recognised as part of our Centenary Fields programme so we are inviting sports clubs that are more than 100 years old and either own or lease (at least 99 years) their ground to apply.
Showcase Centenary Fields
The 2016 and 2017 Fields in Trust Awards showcased a number of sites which had been protected as Centenary Fields over the preceding twelve months.
Bailey Park | Download PDF case study
Bailey Park was used as a meeting point for the Royal Mons Regiment in readiness for going off to the front in World War One. A Mark IV tank was placed on a tank planter within the park after the war but was later removed, although funding is currently being sought to commission a replica.
The Batters | Download PDF case study
The Batters is an area of woodland with footpaths running alongside the Great Western railway line. In 1915 it was used by the Scots Guards for trench-digging and shooting practice before they went to the Western Front. The Guards were based in Corsham at the invitation of Lord Methuen, their Colonel in Chief and the owner of Corsham Court. A newspaper account in June 1915 reported that the Scots Guards have, "transformed The Batters near the railway line into a miniature Front with trenches, dugouts, redoubts, etc, and carried out many interesting night attacks".
Belmont Park | Download PDF case study
Belmont Park is close to Belfast city centre adjacent to the site of Craigavon House which was made available for wounded soldiers during World War One. The park encompasses a rolling landscape; the main attraction being the extensive tree lined walks, surrounded by numerous mature trees.
Belper Memorial Gardens | Download PDF case study
The Memorial Gardens in Belper were established to 'promote a suitable memorial to the men of Belper who lost their lives in the Great War'. George Herbert Strutt, a cotton mill owner and philanthropist gave the land to the Urban District Council on condition that it would maintain the site as 'Pleasure Grounds' and 'place therein a suitable cenotaph or monument'.
Coronation Gardens | Download PDF case study
Coronation Gardens is an attractive open space with a number of bedding areas, paths and seats and offers visitors a peaceful area for quiet reflection. In 2014 a poppy meadow was planted as part of the Council’s World War I Commemorations. A newly designed memorial sculpture depicting growing poppy flowers further enhances the Gardens.
Dundee Law | Download PDF case study
At a public meeting held in January 1919, it was decided to erect a Memorial to commemorate the sacrifice made by over 4,000 Dundee citizens during World War I. The Memorial, which is built of Cornish Granite, was unveiled in May 1925 and can be seen from most parts of the City, and also the surrounding countryside.
Hamilton Gault Park | Download PDF case study
The land on which this Hamilton Gault Park was created was given to the then town council by Brigadier Andrew Hamilton Gault, founder of the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light infantry and its commander until demobilisation. The park features a spectacular avenue of horse chestnut trees, football pitches, a children’s play area and a skate park.
Herne Bay Memorial Park | Download PDF case study
Following the Armistice in 1918 a new park was proposed to commemorate the men that had lost their lives in World War I. A front page announcement in the local press stated, "It is proposed that the War Memorial at Herne Bay should take the form of a public park in which will be erected a cenotaph recording the names of the men of the town who gave their lives for their country in the Great War".
Ilford War Memorial Gardens | Download PDF case study
The Ilford war memorial and gardens were paid for by public subscription. The gardens contain a list of inscriptions of the fallen in the Great War as well as seating and formal rose beds to allow visitors a space for quiet reflection.
Marshalls Park | Download PDF case study
Marshalls Park is opposite Braintree Cemetery and has World War One graves facing towards it. Within the park a circle of lime trees have been planted to commemorate the centenary of the war.
Queens Gardens | Download PDF case study
Queens Gardens is home to a bronze memorial to the World War I fallen, created by John Cassidy, which was officially unveiled in November 1922. The statue of a World War I soldier stands together with a panel depicting returning servicemen and nurses, and a plaque commemorates the 174 people who died.
Roding Lane Sports Ground | Download PDF case study
Roding Lane Sports Ground is the home of Wanstead RFC and recently the Club's Chairman discovered a fixture card from the 1919-1920 season which listed the 22 club members who fell in World War I and a project was launched to provide a fitting memorial. A formal stone memorial listing the fallen is now at the entrance to the Clubhouse and an Avenue of Remembrance has been created with a tree for each club member who gave their life.
Sough Park Memorial Gardens | Download PDF case study
The Park was officially opened as a Memorial Park in 1926, and the memorial honours the sacrifice of the people of Earby and the local area in both World Wars.
Weston Park | Download PDF case study
Sheffield was quick to form its own "Pals" battalion in the early weeks of World War One and the fallen from this battalion are commemorated on one of the two war memorials in Weston Park. The park is on the English Heritage 'Register of Parks and Gardens of Specific Historic Interest'.