We all instinctively know that green spaces are good and they do good. As places to move, run, play and meet safely they have been vital resources for everyone over the last year. Fields in Trust and Liverpool City Council are working together to protect parks and green spaces for good; ensuring the positive benefits they provide will always be available for the city's residents.
Liverpool City Council will become the first local authority in the UK to protect all of their parks and green spaces forever. This commitment will see 100 green spaces, covering over 1,000 hectares, secured in perpetuity.
In March 2021, Liverpool City Council's cabinet approved a motion to protect all of the city's parks and green spaces in perpetuity with Fields in Trust. We'll be working with the Council to transform this ground-breaking vision into a reality.
During the first phase, 20 green spaces in Liverpool will be protected. These include local community spaces in areas identified as having the greatest need for protected green space provision, as well as landmark parks across the city. Further spaces will then be identified for protection and once the Council's vision has been achieved, Liverpool will be the first city in the UK to protect all of their green spaces for good and where every resident lives within a ten-minute walk of a protected park.
Read the announcement
Find out more in our news article, including reaction from Chair of Liverpool Parks Friends Forum, Chrisie Byrne
From our Chair
Jo Barnett and our Chief Executive Helen Griffiths set out how we'll be protecting green spaces for good in Liverpool
From the local MP
MP for Liverpool West Derby, Ian Byrne, reacts to the news his constituents' parks will be protected forever
From the beneficiaries
The community of Princes Park, which will be protected in phase one, share with the park's Friends group why they love the space
"We know the value of our parks and their contribution to so many of the key issues we are determined to tackle in Liverpool and that is why we are working with Fields in Trust to protect their future. I urge other civic leaders to follow our example and protect green spaces for good."
Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson
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, including King George V Playing Field in Childwall which has been protected since 1988.
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.
Our research also finds that those from lower socio-economic groups - who represent 35.2% of the population in Liverpool compared to 25.7% nationally - value green space more highly. The Green Space Index finds Liverpool residents have 25.3sqm of green space provision per person; around a quarter the size of a six-yard box on a football pitch. This is below the national average and the position is set to get worse with the population of Liverpool predicted to rise over the next two decades. Action now to protect parks and green spaces for good will secure the benefits these spaces provide for current and future generations.
Liverpool's green space provision per person of 25.3sqm is lower than the average across Great Britain of 32.9sqm.
One in six people in Liverpool 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 10.3% over the next two decades, making action to protect green space now vital.
Once Liverpool City Council's vision has been achieved over 1,000 hectares of green space will be protected for good.
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.
To achieve Liverpool City Council's vision, green spaces in the city will be protected in a series of phases. The first phase will include ten local community parks in areas identified by Fields in Trust's analysis as having acute strategic need for protected green space, as well as the city's ten major parks.
Once phase one is complete, 64.1% of Liverpudlians will live within a ten-minute walk of a green space for good, including 85.1% of residents in areas identified as having the highest strategic need.
The first phase of green space protections will include local community parks such as Falkner Square Gardens, Norris Green Park and St John's Gardens, as well as all ten of the city's major parks including Calderstones Park, Sefton Park and Stanley Park. Explore the full phase one protection portfolio using the resource below or clicking here.
Whether you're a resident of Liverpool 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 Liverpool? Share what makes the park special and what its protection means to you. Live outside Liverpool? 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 Liverpool, 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.
Liverpool City Council's bold vision is a ground-breaking pledge which will make them the first local authority in the UK to protect all their parks and green spaces forever. For more information you can download the press release [opens Word doc], or 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.