Imagine a world without parks. Over the past few months, parks and green spaces have been a lifeline for so many of us. Places to exercisice, relax, reflect; the only safe place to meet loved ones and connect with our friends and our neighbours.
Through the pandemic we've realised just how valuable parks and green spaces are to our health and wellbeing, yet across the UK only 6% of parks are protected and access to them is not equitable.
In 1925 some very similar conversations were taking place. As the UK was rebuilding after World War I and the devastating influenza pandemic, the future King George VI convened the first meeting of Fields in Trust (then known as the National Playing Fields Association) at the Royal Albert Hall on 8th July 1925.
We are proud to have the continued support of HM The Queen as Patron and HRH the Duke of Cambridge as President - and for 64 years of our history we were supported by HRH The Duke of Edinburgh as our President.
Few resources hold the potential to impact so positively on a wide range of social issues as parks and green spaces. By protecting these spaces in perpetuity, Fields in Trust works to ensure that our children and grandchildren will have places to run, move, breathe and play.
HRH The Duke of Cambridge KG KT
President of Fields in Trust
Since 1925, we have protected 2,852 green spaces in perpetuity, guaranteening that the health and wellbeing benefits that green space provide will always be available for local communitites - yet still 2.7m people live more than a ten-minute walk from their nearest park.
As we reflect on the parallels between 95 years ago and now, our work to champion and support our parks and green spaces is vital and must continue. Parks will be a powerful part of our recovery from the current crisis helping to create stronger, more connected, healthier communities.
We know that these green spaces are much-loved by the communities that visit for play, sport or relaxation - they are valued by their users. Like so many charities, our income has been significantly impacted by the pandemic and so to mark our 95th anniversary, we are asking our friends to support our strategic aim to protect a park or green space within a ten-minute walk of 75% of the UK population.
Your help and generosity supports our ongoing work to ensure everyone in the UK has a park or green space within a short walk from home, which is protected from development for future generations to enjoy.
Find our more about the hitory of Fields in Trust by exploring our interactive online archive.
Thank you for your ongoing support; whilst we were unable to mark our anniversary with our Have a Field Day event , we hope to celebrate this milestone with you in the near future.
Helen Griffiths is Fields in Trust's Chief Executive. If you would like to discuss ways in which you can support Fields in Trust's ongoing work to protect, support and champion green spaces for good, please get in touch.