Fields in Trust Protection Phase 2

Closed 23 Aug 2023

Opened 23 May 2023


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.

Following a public consultation at the end of 2022, an additional ten green spaces have now been protected by a Fields in Trust agreement taking the total number of sites across Edinburgh to 45. 

This second consultation covers a further ten sites which, if approved, will mean that the total number of Fields in Trust protected sites across the city will be 55.  This will 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 aligns with the Council’s own 20 minute neighbourhood principle.

Sites that are protected have a legal agreement known as a “Minute of Agreement” between the City of Edinburgh Council and the Fields in Trust charity. 

Who are Fields in Trust?

Fields in Trust (FiT) 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 Deed of Dedication (or Minute of Agreement in Scotland), 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 can help prevent 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 FiT 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 FiT.

What will it not allow?

Anything not in line with the primary use of the site will require consent from Fields in Trust, and the landowner 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.


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