Green spaces are good and they do good; it's something we all instinctively know. Local parks have been vital resources for us all over the last year and we must protect these green assets to ensure the positive benefits they provide will always be available. Fields in Trust and The City of Edinburgh Council have been working together since the 1930s to make this a reality and we're delighted to extend our partnership in 2021 to reach almost all the city's residents.
The City of Edinburgh Council will protect a further 25 green spaces for good - taking their total to 59 local parks - to ensure nearly all the city's residents live no more than a ten-minute walk from a protected green space.
In May 2021, The City of Edinburgh Council announced they would protect a further 25 of their local green spaces with Fields in Trust. These spaces will serve communities who do not have one of the 34 spaces already protected by the Council close to home and once completed will ensure nearly everybody in the city has a legally protected park or green space within a ten-minute walk of where they live.
Read the announcement
The commitment was announced by TRH The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at an event in Starbank Park in Edinburgh
From the beneficiaries
Users of Edinburgh's parks feature in our new video highlighting the importance of local green spaces
Green Space Index
The latest Index informed an evidence-led approach to protecting green spaces for good in Edinburgh
Fields in Trust have been protecting parks ever since our founding as a charity in 1925. In that time we've nearly 3,000 green spaces for good across the UK. The City of Edinburgh Council protected their first green space with Fields in Trust - King George V Park in South Queensferry in 1939. In the time since the Council has protected 34 spaces across the city with Fields in Trust.
Protection is a legal agreement between Fields in Trust and a space's landowner that they will retain it for use as a green space in perpetuity. Ownership and management of the space remains locally with the existing landowner, ensuring the local community remain fully involved with the space. Our protection is robust yet flexibile to ensure the needs of the community can be met as they evolve in the future.
Parks and green spaces are not a statutory service, meaning local councils have no obligation to provide them for their residents. Without protection parks can so easily be lost. What is lost isn't just the green space though, it is the positive physical health, mental wellbeing, community and environmental benefits that are also lost.
Green spaces are good and they do good. It's something we all instinctively know. It's also something backed up by our own original research - Revaluing Parks and Green Spaces found that the Wellbeing Value associated with the frequent use of local parks and green spaces is worth £34.2 billion per year to the entire UK adult population. However these benefits are not currently equitably distributed.
Almost two-thirds of people in Edinburgh live in flats compared to an average of one in five across the UK.
One in seven people in Edinburgh have no access to a private or shared garden, higher than the national average of one in eight.
The city's population is set to grow 10.4% over the next two decades, making action to protect green space now vital.
The City of Edinburgh Council will protect a further 25 green spaces for good, adding to the 34 spaces already protected.
We have an established track record of using location and demographic insights to contribute to better informed policy decisions and help protect parks and green spaces for good where they will have the greatest impact on the communities. Find out how we use data for good.
There are already 34 parks and green spaces across Edinburgh protected forever with Fields in Trust. The City of Edinburgh Council will protect a further 25 spaces serving communities who do not currently have a protected green space close to home.
Once the latest phase of protections is completed nearly everyone in Edinburgh will live within a ten-minute walk of a green space which is legally protected for good.
The additional spaces being protected include historic city centre parks such as Princes Street Gardens, large spaces such as Gyle Public Park and community spaces like Muirhouse Park. Explore the full portfolio of additional spaces to be protected using the resource below or clicking here.
Whether you're a resident of Edinburgh who will benefit from protected green space forever or live in another local authority and would like to see your council adopt a similar vision there's plenty you can do to get involved.
Regular user of parks in Edinburgh? Share what makes the park special and what its protection means to you. Live outside Edinburgh? Share the story with your local councillors and ask them to commit to a similar vision.
Interested in parks? Our monthly e-bulletin is packed with the latest parks and green space news along with campaigns and more ways you can get involved with championing and supporting local green spaces.
Watch This Space
Sadly, unlike in Edinburgh, parks and green spaces across the UK continue to be threatened with imminent loss. Watch This Space is a three step resource to help you campaign to protect green spaces for good.
Make a difference
As a charity we rely on your support to help us champion, support and protect green spaces for good across the UK. If you love your local park, please consider a donation to help us secure the future of many more like it.
The City of Edinburgh Council follow in the footsteps of Liverpool City Council and become the first local authority in Scotland to make a commitment that nearly all their residents will live within a ten-minute walk of a green space which is protected for good. Please get in touch if you would like to arrange an interview with one of our spokespeople.
Fields in Trust is an independent charity with over 90 years’ experience protecting parks and green spaces. We work with landowners, community groups and policymakers to champion the value of our parks and green spaces to achieve better protection for their future at both local and national level.