Over the last nine decades we have protected over 2,800 parks and green spaces across the UK in perpetuity. From the use of covenants and purchase of land in our early days, more recently we have used the Deed of Dedication as our primary method of protection, offering a robust yet flexible safeguarding of spaces.
Our history has been marked by a series of key protection programmes.
Following the death in 1936 of our first Patron, HM King George V, the King George's Fields Foundation was set up in his memory "to promote and assist in the establishment... of playing fields for the use and enjoyment of the people". Grants were provided to aid the establishment of playing fields across the UK and there are now over 500 such spaces which are legally protected forever with Fields in Trust. These remain clearly identifiable today by heraldic plaques that signify their status as a King George's Field.
Building on the tradition of the King George V Fields we marked the Diamond Jubilee of our then Patron, The late Queen, by protecting a legacy of parks and green spaces throughout the UK in perpetuity. In all 1,392 spaces were protected including children's playgrounds, bicycle trails, woodlands, nature reserves and coastal paths. Coinciding with the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and extending into the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games this project, supported by Asda and the Asda Foundation, secured investment of £4 million into these spaces.
The Centenary Fields programme was launched in 2014 by Fields in Trust President HRH The Duke of Cambridge. In partnership with The Royal British Legion, the programme protected parks and green spaces in perpetuity to honour the memory of the millions who gave their lives in World War I. The programme concluded in 2020 with 232 spaces across the UK protected and, as a legacy from the World War I Centenary, almost 1.37 million people live within a ten-minute walk of a space protected forever as a Centenary Field.
Active Spaces was a UK-wide programme, funded by the London Marathon Foundation, to protect parks and green spaces in perpetuity and to support physical activity for inactive people on those spaces. A total of 51 local green spaces across the UK are protected as part of the programme.
A covenant is a legal agreement governing what can and cannot be done on the land. Around 400 spaces are protected in this way across the UK.
In 1927, the Carnegie UK Trust allocated £200,000 (the equivalent of around £10 million today) to support the creation, protection and improvement of playing fields across the UK.
Owain Glyndwr Fields
A dedicated programme protected 30 spaces in Wales to commemorate the Prince of Wales' 600th anniversary in 2004.
Protecting parks and green spaces remains as important today as it was back in 1925. Green spaces are good, they do good and they need to be protected for good. Use our Fields Finder to discover spaces near you which are already protected and if your local green space isn't yet secured in perpetuity, find out how the protection process works.
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