We were founded by HRH The Duke of York, later HM King George VI, in 1925 as the National Playing Fields Association and are proud of our long heritage protecting parks and green spaces. Our Royal Charter in Incorporation was granted by HM King George V, our first Patron, in 1932. Today we are fortunate to have the active support of our President HRH The Duke of Cambridge who took over this role when HRH The Duke of Edinburgh retired after 64 years. HM The Queen has been Patron of the charity since 1952 and we are grateful for her long-standing involvement.
Discover more about our nine decades of history in this interactive archive which charts the story of our founding, early appeals, King George's Fields, play leadership, technical guidance, Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge and more.
Explore the archive
During his long and committed service HRH The Duke of Edinburgh was involved in every aspect of the organisation. As well as regularly working in the office he attended opening ceremonies of protected parks and playing fields, played in many fundraising cricket matches and hosted charity galas. We are enormously indebted to The Duke for his support and were deeply saddened to learn of his passing aged 99 in April 2021.
His Royal Highness in his cricket whites, taking part in a fundraising cricket match
Greeting Roger Moore, Maud Adams, Christopher Lee and Britt Ekland at a fundraising event
Attending an event with our Patron, HM The Queen
Receiving a silver salver to mark £1 million in donations from the Lord's Taverners
Over the last nine decades we have protected over 2,800 parks and green spaces across the UK in perpetuity. We have used different mechanisms of protection over the years and run a variety of specific protection programmes.