Fields in Trust

Protection Guidance

Congratulations on choosing to protect your green space with Fields in Trust. You’re taking the first step to ensuring your land benefits the local community and the environment for many years to come.

Apply to protect

Take the first step to protect your green space forever by filling out our online application form.

This guidance will help you to prepare your protection application. We’ll walk you through exactly what can be protected, which documents you’ll need to provide, and where you may need to go for further information.

What can be protected with Fields in Trust?

If your park or green space meets the seven criteria below, good news - we'll be able to support you to protect it forever.

Our seven protection criteria
  • You must own the space by having a freehold interest or a leasehold interest of at least 99 years. Tenants will need to have the consent of their landlord for the dedication of the space for the duration of the lease or by the landlord becoming a party to the Deed or Minute.
  • We can protect leased areas of land within a green space but ask that the leaseholder agree to be party to the Deed.

Spaces and facilities suitable for protection:

  • Your green spaces must be used for informal physical activity and recreation, or formal sport. We use a wide definition of recreation to encompass woodland, gardens, nature reserves, country parks, playing fields and playgrounds.
  • Your green space should be at least 0.2ha in size but we will consider protecting smaller spaces where their value to the local community can be demonstrated.
  • Your green space must have some form of permanent public access, whether that’s by being open to the public or, in the case of a sports club, by having an open membership policy.

Spaces and facilities not suitable for protection:

  • Any green space where public access is restricted by exclusive events and activities that take up more than 50% of the space, for more than three months in a calendar year.
  • Facilities owned by or leased to private clubs.
Including buildings in our protections

There are also some buildings which must be excluded from the Deed or Minute. These are electricity substations, leisure centres, indoor sport facilities, community centres, village halls, schools, residential buildings, council offices, town car parks and any other commercial buildings.

However, buildings and structures directly associated with and supporting the recreational use of a green space - for example sports pavilions, changing rooms, toilets, storage facilities, car parks for people using the park and associated cafés - can be included in a Deed or Minute.

Land registration requirements and fees

England and Wales: You are required to enter a restriction and notice to the registered title. The Land Registry fee is £80 for up to three titles. If you use its business e-services, the fees will be £40.

Scotland: You are required to register the Minute of Agreement in the Books of Council and Session. The Register of Scotland fee for registration of the Minute of Agreement is £20.

Northern Ireland: You are required to register an inhibition at the Land Registry of Northern Ireland. The fee is £90 for a paper application and £70 for an electronic application.

Documents you must provide

For registered Land

We require office copies of the register of title, dated within the last 12 months, to represent the current standing of the land. These can be obtained from the Land Registry (England and Wales), Registers for Scotland (Scotland) and Land & Property Services (Northern Ireland) for a small fee. If the land is registered under more than one title number, please ensure that all relevant title registers and plans are provided.

For unregistered Land

We require copies of the conveyance(s), will, trust deed or other evidence of ownership.

For leasehold Land

If you are the tenant holding a lease for a term of at least 99 years, or if you are the freeholder of the green space to be protected and all or part of the space is subject to a lease to a charity, sports club or a local authority, we will need a copy of the lease.

We do not require copies of leases over non-ancillary buildings and facilities as these will not be included in the Deed or Minute.

A plan

Where the whole of the registered property is to be dedicated, the title plan can be used. However, it may not be suitable to use if there are areas within the space that need to be excluded. If this is the case, you must provide a plan that has the following features:

  • It outlines the green space to be dedicated by an unbroken red line
  • It outlines/shades excluded area(s) such as buildings not suitable for dedication in another colour e.g. blue
  • It is an Ordinance Survey plan
  • It is drawn to a scale
  • It has a north point

The plan can be submitted later if you are not sure whether to exclude any part of the space.

For more details, please see the Land Registry guidance on preparation of plans in England and Wales. The guidance contains an example of a plan that meets all Land Registry requirements and examples of poor plans.

Registers of Scotland's map requirements are published here. The Land Registry of Northern Ireland's map requirements are published here.

Evidence for approval to protect

Please supply evidence of the necessary approval to protect the green space(s). For example, a local authority will probably give approval at a Council or Committee meeting or from another delegated authority so you could provide a copy of the relevant meeting minute. If the approval is by way of another delegated authority, please provide written confirmation from the appropriate person.

If you are a custodian trustee or holding trustee, a copy of the resolution of the managing trustees agreeing to the dedication is required.

Other information

The application form requires contact details of your legal representative (if applicable), information regarding facilities and activities on the space, Friends of Groups, major events, details of any outstanding funding agreements, and a short description of the space.

And finally...

We are committed to protecting parks and green spaces, so we don’t charge landowners (except for commercial landowners) for this service. However, as a charity, we reserve the right to charge for any costs incurred if you are unable to complete the protection process.

By submitting an application, you are confirming your ability and intention to complete the protection process and accept our terms should you fail to sign the Deed or Minute.

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