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Fields in Trust (FIT)

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Fields in Trust

Fields in Trust (FIT) is the only independent UK wide organisation dedicated to protecting and improving outdoor sports and play spaces and facilities.

We want to make sure that everyone – young and old alike, and wherever they live - has somewhere nearby to go for healthy outdoor activities.  Through our work we improve the well-being of millions of people nationwide.

How do we do this?

We:

  • Protect individual playing fields – permanently - from development
  • Improve the facilities on playing fields
  • Influence government policy – to make sure our remaining fields aren’t sold off
  • Campaign to save fields under threat
  • Help local communities to manage their fields
  • Work with partner organisations to enhance local communities through improved facilities and activities
  • Increase awareness of the value of playing fields.

Vision

A nation which enjoys the sport and play, health, sense of wellbeing and purpose along with the social benefits that flow from using its playing fields, playgrounds and open green spaces.

Mission

To work towards our vision we aim to improve the quality of life and health of everyone throughout the UK, through protecting and developing high quality, well-used local facilities for outdoor sport and play and to secure community spaces for future generations.'

Values

The values that we bring to our mission are:

  • Belief in our vision and zeal for our mission
  • Belief that the whole population can be included in our vision
  • Responsibility to our members and to the public who trust us as national guardians of public open recreation space
  • Leadership in protection of public open space
  • Commitment to be the best-informed organisation in the UK in the protection of public open space
  • Independence

The current situation for playing fields.

School playing fields have enjoyed greater protection since FIT persuaded the government to amend the rules relating to their disposal in 2004. The Secretary of State at the DfES paid tribute to FIT campaigning when he announced the new rules.

Community playing fields, however, remain very vulnerable. Unless they are a playing pitch of a minimum size of 0.4 hectares, which is marked out and used for sport (when Sport England scrutinizes the impact of their potential loss), their only protection is that afforded by the campaigning that is mounted by members of the public battling with a complicated and expensive planning system.

Over its 80 year history FIT has lobbied to improve the planning system to give greater statutory protection to playing fields and outdoor recreational land.

FIT gives planning leadership through one of its key publications, the Six-Acre Standard, which is the planning bible for all, developers, lawyers and local authorities, who are at the coalface of planning and controlling the nature of where people live in the UK; this planning guide gives benchmarks on quantity, quality and accessibility of local green spaces for sport and play.

FIT continues to be convinced that the only sure way of protection of open space is through its own legal protection, through its effective but flexible deed of dedication. Communities who enjoy the 1200 fields currently protected by FIT, throughout the UK, in this way know that they will always have somewhere near them for all the outdoor sport and enjoyment that they want.

The Future - strategic direction

Lobbying - FIT is lobbying the government to protect community fields in the same way that school playing fields benefit.

Planning - the Six Acre standard is being re-drafted so that it will strengthen its guidance on quantity, quality and accessibility.

Protecting Fields - as part of the movement to deliver an Olympic Legacy from the London 2012 Games, FIT will push out its programme to attach Deeds of Dedication through its FIT for Gold project to protect 2012 sites throughout the UK by 2012.

Improving Fields - as part of FIT for Gold, FIT will attract funding to improve 2012 fields by 2012.

Maintaining Fields - as part of its SpacePlan initiative FIT, using developer contributions cost-effectively, will be maintaining open space throughout the UK that is provided through s.106 agreements by developers on the grant of planning permission.

Contact Details:

Head Office
Mr Don Earley
Fields in Trust (FIT)
15 Crinan Street
London
N1 9SQ

Tel  +44 (0)20 7427 2110
Fax  +44 (0)20 7427 2128
Email  info@fieldsintrust.org
Web  www.fieldsintrust.org
Regional Office
Rhoderi Edwards
Fields in Trust (FIT)
Fields in Trust, Cymru
Welsh Institute of Sport
Sophia Gardens
Cardiff
CF11 9SW

Tel  +44 (0)29 2023 0637
Fax  +44 (0)29 2023 0643
Email  cymru@fieldsintrust.org
Web  www.fieldsintrust.org
Regional Office
Colin Rennie
Fields in Trust (FIT)
Fields in Trust, Scotland
Dewar House, Claverhouse
Staffa Place
Dundee
DD2 3SX

Tel  +44 (0)1382 817 427
Fax  +44 (0)1382 828 444
Email  scotland@fieldsintrust.org
Web  www.fieldsintrust.org