Fields in Trust can protect any publicly accessible park, playing field or nature reserve as long as it meets the criteria set out below.
Fields in Trust works in partnership with landowners including local authorities, voluntary organisations and private landowners to protect land through a Deed of Dedication (or Minute of Agreement in Scotland) – a binding legal commitment with the landowner – which allows green spaces to be protected in perpetuity for current and future generations to enjoy.
- Evidence of ownership, and where relevant freehold interest must be produced. We can only protect land in partnership with the landowner, or a leaseholder with a lease of at least 99 years.
- We would generally expect the green space to be at least 0.2ha in size in order to accommodate recreation but we are happy to consider the protection of smaller spaces where the value of them to the local community can be demonstrated.
- The principal use should be outdoor recreation, sport or play. Our definition of recreation also now encompasses natural and semi-natural nature spaces, such as woodland, local nature reserves and country parks. Spaces can also include buildings or facilities if the use is ancillary to the outdoor space.
- The green space must have some form of permanent public access.
- The public access to the space cannot be so restricted by exclusive events/activities as that it would mean more than 50% of the space is inaccessible to the general public for more than three months in a calendar year.
- We can protect leased areas of land within a green space but would ask that the leaseholder agree to be party to the deed.
Key documents required
To progress your application, we require office copy entries of the register of title (or for unregistered land, the root of title). Office copies must be dated within the last 12 months to represent the current standing of the land. For registered land, copies can be obtained from the relevant Land Registry for a nominal charge. We will also require evidence of approval to protect the green space, a commitment to signing the Deed or Minute within six months and high resolution pictures of the space.
You can check you have all the required documents using our six-step eligibility checker before progressing to submit a formal application for protection.