Support and protect your local green spaces

Kathryn Cook of Fields in Trust outlines how the grassroots football community can help to protect their local green spaces in the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge.

Developing a strong sporting future needs passionate people, coaches, players and athletes – people like you.

It also needs places to play sports and nurture talent; this is often forgotten when talking about legacy and grassroots engagement – but that’s what the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge is for!

Our outdoor play spaces are increasingly under threat. Since 1992, 6,000 playing fields have been lost to development. This worrying trend doesn’t count for the lost informal open spaces that are also gone forever.

The Challenge led by its Patron, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, is a groundbreaking initiative to create a grassroots legacy from the big events of 2012:  The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Landowners across the country are being asked to commit their green recreational space to be protected forever as a Queen Elizabeth II Field.  Already 700 different spaces, including hundreds of football pitches are going to be preserved for now and for the future.  Find out what’s been nominated in your area at

HRH The Duke of Cambridge says: “The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge is ambitious but much needed.  It will require the support of sporting bodies, local authorities and, most importantly, the British people in local communities up and down the country.  I am certain the Fields will bring lasting benefit to countless individual lives.”

Save a space for me!

On 18 October you can visit and show your support for protecting grassroots football pitches that have been nominated into the scheme.

See if your club’s local field is going to be protected. Vote for your favourite fields and tell decision makers that you think playing fields and other recreational spaces are important.

Mark the date in your diary now for your chance to shape the future of your community and ensure that future generations have somewhere to play the beautiful game.  Get everyone you know to vote as well!

The Challenge is being delivered by the charity Fields in Trust (operating name of the National Playing Fields Association).

Fields in Trust are working with national sports governing bodies, like The FA, to ensure that local football facilities are saved as Queen Elizabeth II Fields, much like the 471 King George V Fields across the country which are protected in his memory.

You can also help to secure more spaces. If your local pitch does not appear on the Challenge web site, go to the ‘Get Involved’ section and download a ‘Call to action’ to send to your local authority asking them to protect it as a Queen Elizabeth II Field.

Have a Field Day

Get your local community involved in a fun-for-all sports day!  Have a Field Day is a great way to help get everyone involved to mark the Diamond Jubilee in June 2012.

Work with your local authority and your community to make it a great day out!  Why not organise a kick about, skills session or include other ‘Have a Go’ activities to help sustain your club and promote participation in football where you live?

You can find out more or sign up now at

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Dan Pope
Writer at Teamer
Freelance writer, editor and copywriter, with a passion for grassroots sport. A right back turned football writer, Dan is the former editor of Club Website and has been lucky enough to work in the field of grassroots and community sport for the last 10 years.

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  1. vincent Taylor on September 30, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    People must be encouraged to to protect the space they have around them. School sports fields must be mainted and youngsters of all standards helped to enjoy playing sport.

  2. msb03 on September 30, 2011 at 7:50 pm

    it would be nice if there were some decent grassroots football pitches to protect in our area. Money is needed to upgrade exisitng pitches to get to to at least a playable standard throughout the season. Too often they resemble the Somme

  3. Kathryn on October 7, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Msbo3,
    You might be interested to know that if playing fields are put forward for QEII status, they open up access to otherwise restricted funding. Which could be used to improve them!

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