Guidance for Outdoor Sport & Play

Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play: Beyond The Six Acre Standard

Fields in Trust benchmark guidelines are a crucial tool for developers, planners, urban designers and landscape architects in the design of outdoor sport, play and informal open space.

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Guidance for England, Scotland and Wales

The guidance has been produced to reflect a new planning policy landscape and clearly identifies benchmarks within the current policy framework. Each of the UK home nations has a planning system which sets out land usage and regulates development based on local circumstances. Although the basic structures of the systems are similar the devolved administrations have each determined the detail and operation of their own primary planning legislation. To reflect these divergent systems the Fields in Trust Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play has been published in versions for England, Scotland and Wales, plus a Welsh language version.

Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play - England
Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play - Scotland
Guidance for Outdoor Sport and Play - Wales
Y tu hwnt i'r Safon Chwe Erw - Cymru
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History of Fields in Trust Guidance

As part of its work, Fields in Trust has supported practitioners since the 1930s on open space provision and design – The “Six Acre Standard”. Southwark ParkThe new 2015 guidance backed up by research retains the same headline rates of provision, but draws out new recommendations for accessibility, for flexible application of standards and the minimum dimensions of formal outdoor space. This revision of the guidelines introduces benchmarking for informal open space - places for recreation, not involving organised sport and play - and includes parks and gardens, and natural and semi-natural habitats. The guidance also no longer differentiates between urban and rural areas.

In the foreword of the document HRH The Duke of Cambridge KG KT, President of Fields in Trust, writes “Since the 1930s, Fields in Trust has provided guidance on the provision of outdoor space for sport, play and recreation that is both respected and valued across the sector. This new publication recognises the need for people to have access to a wide range of outdoor spaces for recreational purposes and the intrinsic value these important spaces bring to the health and well-being of our communities.”.