Foundation and Royal Patronage

We were founded by King George V in 1925 as the National Playing Fields Association and are proud of our long heritage protecting parks and green spaces. 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 66 years.  HM The Queen has been Patron of the charity since 1952 and we are grateful for her long-standing involvement.

HRH The Duke of Edinburgh KG KT

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 him for his support.

Historic Protection Programmes
  • Covenanted Fields: A covenant is a legal agreement governing what can and cannot be done on the land.  
  • King George V Fields: Following the death in 1936 of our founder, King George V, 471 parks and playing fields were protected following donations of both money and land as a fitting memorial. The spaces are clearly identifiable by the heraldic plaques that signify their status as a King George V Field.
  • Carnegie Fields: 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 33 fields in Wales to commemorate the Prince of Wales' 600th anniversary in 2004.
  • Queen Elizabeth II Fields (QE in Scotland): Building on the tradition of the King George V Fields we marked the Diamond Jubilee of our Patron, HM The Queen, by protecting a legacy of parks and green spaces throughout the UK in perpetuity. In all 1,397 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.
  • Centenary Fields: We are working across the UK in partnership with The Royal British Legion to secure recreational spaces in perpetuity to honour the memory of the millions of people who lost their lives in World War I. The Centenary Fields programme was launched in 2014 by Fields in Trust President HRH The Duke of Cambridge and will conclude with the centenary of Armistice Day in November 2018.