Britain’s parks are at risk. There’s no legal responsibility to look after them and squeezed budgets mean our local green spaces - from playgrounds, to the park you relax in on your lunch break - don’t have the money they need. We could end up being forced to pay to use our parks - or lose them altogether.
Together, we’ve been taking big strides in saving Britain’s parks. Over 300,000 of us signed a petition calling on the government to legally protect all parks. An influential group of MPs - the Communities and Local Government Committee - invited us to meet them in parliament. The committee published a report agreeing with us that parks are at risk and if we don’t do anything about it, they might not be there for future generations. But they stopped short of backing our call for more legal protection.
This is the next step in the same campaign - working with FIelds in Trust to get our local green spaces protected means we can safeguard them for future generations … without needing the help of MPs!
Who are Fields in Trust?
Fields in Trust was founded in 1925 as the National Playing Fields Association by King George V. Their mission is to ensure that everyone – young or old, able or disabled and wherever they live – has access to free, local outdoor space for sport, play and recreation. They’re a national charity and operate throughout the UK to safeguard recreational spaces and campaign for better protection for all kinds of outdoor spaces.
Who are Parkrun?
Parkrun has also partnered with Fields in Trust for Have a Field Day. Parkruns are free, weekly, 5km runs that are free and open to everyone. They take place in parks across the country every Saturday morning at 9am - hundreds of thousands of people take part each week.
Who are the National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces?
The National Federation of Parks and Green Spaces is another Have a Field Day partner. It promotes, protects and improves the UK’s parks and green spaces by linking all Friends groups, User Forums and networks throughout the country. A Friends Groups is a group of interested local people who come together to look after their local park. Each group is different but they take part in all sorts of things - from fundraising and litter picking to making sure the community’s voice is heard in the management of the park.
What is a Deed of Dedication and how will it help my local park?
A Deed of Dedication or, in Scotland, a Minute of Agreement, is a robust yet flexible way of safeguarding the future of a park or green space. Both Deeds and Minutes of Agreement are legally binding so that each park is protected for future generations to enjoy. It means that before certain developments can take place the owner needs to seek permission from Fields in Trust.
What kinds of spaces can be protected by Fields in Trust?
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.
My park’s already protected.
There are many forms of protection, including covenants, town and village green registration and neighbourhood planning. Whilst planning legislation is subject to change, in the vast majority of cases Field in Trust’s Deed of Dedication will enhance a site's protection allowing landowners a flexible approach to safeguarding recreational land forever as well as bringing additional benefits such as funding, positive PR for the landowner and a feel-good-factor for the local community!
How do i find out who owns my park?
Each site – park, playground, nature reserve - will have signage identifying the owner and / or managing organisation – so you should be able to identify the organisation responsible for your local green space simply by visiting it and having a look around.
Why a picnic? And what will hosting it involve?
A ‘bring your own’ picnic is an easy and simple way to bring people together. As a host you’ll need to pick a suitable place and a time, then tell the office team. It’ll be your job to invite your local councillors along, the office team will support you every step of the way. Then, on the day, you’ll need to take your own picnic of course, get there early, maybe put up some bunting so people can find you easily and then just simply greet people as they arrive!
Do I need permission to host an event in my park?
You’ll need permission from the landowner. But don’t worry - it’ll only be a few forms and the 38 Degrees office team is here to help. It’s likely your park is owned by the local council. Council’s encourage events in their parks and should be happy to support this event. They should be able to process an application within a few weeks.
How will 38 Degrees promote the picnic?
We’ll send you a form to fill in to register your picnic - tell us where and when, and roughly how many people you think the space can hold. We’ll put the details of your picnic on a website then email people who live near you and invite them to RSVP to it. If you DON’T want us to promote your event please get in touch and let us know! Email us on firstname.lastname@example.org
How can I convince councillors to come to my event?
Your local councillors should be proud of the local parks the council looks after and should want to be a part of an event celebrating them. The 38 Degrees office team will give you all the support you need to get your councillors along. We’ll get their details for you and give you a template email / letter to send to them.