Field Change Requests during Covid-19

Fields in Trust protects parks and green spaces through Deeds of Dedication, Minutes of Agreement and Deeds of Covenant, as part of this protection, we have a responsibility to ensure that proposed changes fit with the purpose of the protected space and benefit its recreational use.

Local parks and green spaces have proven their enormous benefit to people's physical and mental health and should be used to the advantage of local communities in these unprecedented times.

Following the Government's guidance on access to green spaces during the Covid-19 outbreak, landowners will be thinking about their obligations to allow the public to use their protected green spaces. Typically, a Deed of Dedication (Minute of Agreement in Scotland) requires the landowner to seek our consent for change of use, disposals, erection of buildings and structures, and Fields in Trust has an established Fields Change Request process which must be followed in order for a proposal to be considered.

We recognise that, with the current national lockdown, landowners may have to take urgent decisions about the use of these spaces which may prevent them from going through the normal Field Change Request process. As a result, Fields in Trust have agreed that where changes are implemented in compliance with Government guidance, our formal consent does not need to be sought, but we should still be kept informed. We have set out below the types of proposals which will not require consent whilst the country is in lockdown, and our advice to landowners is:

  • Where there is a temporary change of use to allow use by the armed forces or NHS for the purposes of emergency field hospitals and ancillary uses: we expect to be informed of all plans around reinstatement as soon as is reasonably possible.
  • In case of closing or restricting access to green spaces: we would not recommend full closure of green spaces unless absolutely necessary and where other measures were or would be ineffective. Parts of spaces such as play areas, outdoor gyms and sports facilities should now be taped off or otherwise closed to prevent public use in line with the latest instructions from UK Government (correct and current as of noon on Wednesday 13th May) or guidance from the devolved administrations, which must be complied with, but the open areas that can be used for exercise, running, walking and cycling should remain open.
  • Should either of these situations arise, please advise Fields in Trust by email to info@fieldsintrust.org.

 

We are still accepting Field Change Request applications during this time so any proposed changes to protected spaces that are unaffected by the Covid-19 pandemic; such as granting of a lease, release or transfer of land, wayleaves or easements and revisions to buildings, should all follow the normal process.