I hope this finds you well. I am writing to you from Fields in Trust, the only independent UK charity dedicated to protecting and improving outdoor space. I recently attended a meeting of the London Green Spaces Friends Groups Network and found it really interesting to meet with and listen to the Friends groups that attended and it was great to have the chance to introduce Fields in Trust to everyone. I wanted to write to you as I feel we have very similar objectives on both a local and national scale and we also want to make you aware of our work as it is so relevant to the great outdoors.
Founded in 1925, Fields in Trust protects spaces such as parks, playing fields, bike trails and woodlands from being sold off or developed for purposes other than sports or recreation. We also offer funding grants for improvements and repairs, to ensure that everyone has free access to quality outdoor sites.
Last July we launched our Centenary Fields project, to commemorate World War I in communities across the UK by encouraging local authorities to dedicate and protect at least one green memorial space in their area.
We hugely encourage the involvement of community groups like yours with local green spaces. When we protect a space, ownership and management of the site remain in local hands as locals are best placed to reflect the needs of the community. Any changes in use of the site or the site’s buildings (e.g. a pavilion) do need our specific consent so that we can ensure the space is only ever used for sports and/or recreation, but otherwise we are very light touch.
We sponsor sports days, known as ‘Have a Field Days’ for our protected sites and we provide the site with a goodie box packed with sports equipment, such as bats and balls, t-shirts, medals, bunting and more, to help make the day as fun and successful as possible.
We also host an annual awards ceremony in December to highlight some of the success stories of the landowners, volunteers and communities who have championed their local Fields in Trust site.
Our strategic partners include Sport England, the FA, the ECB and RFU, the LTA and Royal British Legion. Our ambassadors include sporting figures such as Graeme Le Saux, Roger Federer, Sir Clive Woodward and Geoffrey Boycott.
We also offer a membership scheme to fund our work, provide improvements and grants for protected sites and sponsor Have a Field Day community events. Members include individuals and families, friends’ groups, sports clubs and associations, parish and town councils, local authorities and companies. Membership starts from £2 a month (or £25 a year) for individuals and is £50 a year for groups.
In addition to supporting our work, FIT membership gets you benefits such as access to expert field management information and advice for managing sites, a regular Friends’ newsletter, competitions and access to the online membership area via our website. You’ll also receive special discounts when you buy from our selected partners – so if you’re looking to invest in any playground equipment, sports products or outdoor furniture, our member discounts from Playdale, HAGS SMP, Stadia Sports and Cotswold Outdoor might save you the cost of the membership fee!
If you’re interested in finding out more about membership or about protecting a site with Fields in Trust, or if you’d like me to attend one of your meetings to talk more about Fields in Trust, just let me know. I have attached our autumn newsletter for you to read, which was sent to members in September.
I look forward very much to hearing from you soon and I hope you enjoy reading the newsletter.
With many thanks and best wishes for the weekend,
020 7427 2114
Fields in Trust – the operating name of the National Playing Fields Association - protecting spaces for future generations; improving them for people today