Fields in Trust Protection

Closes 16 Dec 2022

Opened 15 Sep 2022


Parks and green spaces are proven to help people stay physically and mentally well, build community spirit, help combat loneliness and are important for the planet.

The Council is proposing that an additional twenty of the city's parks are nominated for Fields in Trust protection. This is a legal agreement known as a “Minute of Agreement” between the City of Edinburgh Council and the Fields in Trust charity. The proposals would go some way to ensure that almost everyone in the city lives no more than a 10-minute walk from a park or green space which is protected for good and fits with the Council’s own 20-minute neighbourhood principle.

The Council will be consulting on the proposed parks over two consultation exercises. This consultation activity focuses on the first ten sites. Currently, the City of Edinburgh has registered 35 sites under the protection scheme. These additional sites would bring the total firstly to 45 and then to 55 once the final 10 sites have been approved.

Who is Fields in Trust?

Fields in Trust is a charity founded in 1925 with the aim of protecting parks and green spaces for future generations. Previously known as the National Playing Fields Association, it was founded by HRH The Duke of York, later HM King George VI, the role was taken on by The Duke of Edinburgh and on his retiral it was taken up by The Duke of Cambridge.

Fields in Trust works in partnership with landowners to protect land through a Minute of Agreement, a binding legal commitment with the landowner to retain the site as a green space for current and future generations to enjoy.

What does protection mean?

It is a robust yet flexible way of legally safeguarding a space, making it necessary that the owner seeks permission from Fields in Trust before unsympathetic developments can take place.

Legally protecting a site prevents the land being lost or drastically changed by building development that is not directly linked or have clear association with the recreational use of the site. This allows green spaces to be protected in perpetuity for everybody to enjoy. 

The definition of parks and green spaces includes parks, public playing fields, recreation grounds, play and open spaces. A Minute of Agreement with Fields in Trust guarantees that the site would need to remain publicly accessible, free and within the original purpose such as sport, play, open space, a space to enjoy and nature.

What will be allowed?

Buildings with a clear and direct use to a site include sports pavilions, changing rooms, toilets, storage facilities, cafes, play equipment and skate parks will generally be supported by Fields in Trust.

What will it not allow?

Anything not in line with the primary use of the site may require consent from Fields in Trust.  Should the landowner wish to change the use of the site or part of the site, it will need to apply for a field change request for approval. In general, a landowner would need to offer a new space which is of equal or better quality, and which serves the same community in return.

Give us your views


  • All Edinburgh


  • Anyone from any background


  • Parks and green spaces