In this month’s Landscape and Amenity magazine, an article brings the nationwide #FieldFinders campaign to our attention. The magazine has reported on the campaign to raise awareness around lost playing fields and public green spaces across the UK.
The Carnegie UK Trust and Fields in Trust launched the campaign earlier this year to encourage the public to identify over 900 lost playing fields originally protected as public green spaces. These lost areas were protected by philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie's charitable trust between 1927-1935.
Both the Carnegie UK Trust and Fields in Trust charities aim to protect thousands of UK football pitches, playgrounds, tennis courts and other recreational green spaces from urban development.
How did these green areas get lost?
The sites that are lost are the ones that never had their exact locations centrally recorded. These locations should be under the original terms of the Carnegie grants, meaning they are supposed to be protected from development.
What can we do to help?
The #FieldFinders campaign was set up to inspire the public to locate Carnegie playing fields and submit photos and suggested locations via a dedicated web portal. This way, the campaign can do a better job of putting stronger legal protection in place and help preserve green spaces for future generations.
The Next Steps
Once the data from the public has been collected, members of a specialist Fields in Trust team will cross reference surviving documentation with the submissions that have been entered. The public are also encouraged to share images of the sites that they find via their social media profiles, alongside the Field Finders hash tag. The charities hope that this will spread the word about the campaign and inspire others to join in.
There is also the chance for a confirmed location to win one of two £5000 prizes to make improvements to its facilities. These improvement grants will be awarded at the end of September 2015.
Which green spaces have been identified so far?
Fields in Trust conducted a pilot study to look at London, Kent, Middlesex and Surrey. They identified 107 grants in these locations and 14 of these Carnegie fields have now been confirmed. You can find the Carnegie fields nearest to you by visiting the Fields in Trust website and entering your postcode.
Do you fancy getting involved?
If you want to submit a green space that you think could be a Carnegie field, just fill in the short form provided by the Fields in Trust website. You can also support the Carnegie fields ‘hunt’ by sharing your findings on social media.