Fields in Trust Protection

If you are thinking of protecting your green space with us, these are some commonly asked questions:

  1. How does Fields in Trust protect parks and green spaces?
  2. What kinds of spaces do Fields in Trust protect?
  3. What does 'permanent protection' really mean?
  4. Are buildings allowed on protected land?
  5. Once a space is protected do we need to change the name?
  6. Once a space is protected by Fields in Trust who owns and manages the land?
  7. Our space is already protected, why should we protect it through you?
  1. How do Fields in Trust protect parks and green spaces?
    We protect land through a binding legal agreement called a Deed of Dedication or, in Scotland, a Minute of Agreement. It's a robust yet flexible way of safeguarding the future of a space, designed just for us. Both Deeds and Minutes of Agreement legally ensure that space is protected for future generations to enjoy. This means that before certain developments can take place the owner needs to seek permission from Fields in Trust (see Question 4). There are two types of Deed - charitable and non-charitable. If the Deed creates a charity both charity law and Fields in Trust will ensure the protection if the Deed is non-charitable Fields in Trust will ensure the protection.
  2. What kinds of spaces do Fields in Trust protect?
    Fields in Trust can protect any type of outdoor recreational space providing it has public access, including playing fields, recreation grounds, playgrounds and play areas, parks, country parks and nature reserves.
  3. What does 'permanent protection' really mean?
    'Permanent protection' or 'protection in perpetuity' does indeed mean forever in the case of freehold land or at least 99 years in the case of leased land. Each space's protection is specified in its own Deed of Dedication or Minute of Agreement.
  4. What buildings are allowed on protected land?
    As mentioned in Question 1, the protection of each space is individually detailed in the Deed of Dedication and this would include any changes to the space. Generally, only ancillary buildings are allowed but other buildings could be allowed subject to Fields in Trust’s permission.
  5. Once a space is protected do we need to change the name?
    Not at all, our protection is a status, not a name change.
  6. Once a field is protected by Fields in Trust who owns and manages the land?
    Ownership and management remain in local hands after Fields in Trust protect any space as they are best placed to reflect the needs of the community. Any non-recreational changes in use of the space or any buildings do need our specific consent but otherwise, we are very much 'light touch'.
  7. Our land is already protected, why should we protect it through you?
    There are many forms of protection, including covenants, town and village green registration and planning protection. In the vast majority of cases, our Deed of Dedication will enhance a site's protection, as well as bringing additional benefits such as funding, positive PR for the landowner and renewed goodwill from the local community.

Find out more about Fields in Trust protection programmes and download application forms

Please note:
These FAQs are provided for general information only and do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to be legally binding. Fields in Trust accepts no liability for any loss or damage incurred due to actions taken based on anything written in these guidance notes. Should you require legal advice we recommend seeking independent legal advice from a solicitor.