Frequently Asked Questions – Proposals to protect green spaces with Fields In Trust


Frequently Asked Questions - Proposals to protect green spaces with Fields In Trust

What is being proposed?

The council is proposing to enter into a legal agreement, known as a ‘deed of dedication,' with Fields In Trust - an independent UK-wide charity dedicated to the protection of parks and green spaces.

If signed, then the Council must hold the land for the purposes of outdoor leisure and recreation only. Any changes outside of these purposes would need Fields in Trust's consent. As a charitable organisation dedicated to the provision and protection of parks and green spaces it will ensure there is no loss of protected land.


Who are Fields In Trust?

Fields In Trust isthe only UK charity working to secure legal protection for all parks and green spaces. Their Charity Number is 306070 (England & Wales) and you can find out more about them at


Why can't the Council just protect them?

It can - but not forever. Although the current Council administration has no intention of developing any of these sites, there is no way of guaranteeing that would still be the case if a different administration, with different priorities, in a different time was elected - nobody can predict exactly what will happen in the future.

But we do know that Fields In Trust will always be dedicated to protecting parks and green spaces - it's what the charity was set up to do. So, by protecting these green spaces now, we are making sure they are protected permanently.


Would this stop all development on these sites?

Developments that encourage the use of the land for outdoor leisure and recreation and those which are ancillary to that use would be allowed. Everything else would need Field's in Trust's consent.

The only exception to that rule would be development under statutory powers - a limited number of organisations, such as utility companies and rail networks have statutory development rights that override the rights of landowners.

Developments of this kind cannot currently be stopped by the Council (or by any other private landowner) and could not be stopped by the Fields In Trust in the future, even if they objected. 


Would this change anything for people using the park?

No. The opposite in fact - it will mean the green space you currently enjoy can be enjoyed just as it is today, forever.


Which parks in Cardiff are already protected by Fields In Trust?

Ten council-owned green spaces are already protected from development by Fields In Trust. They are: Alexandra Gardens, Grange Gardens, Heath Park, Hywel Dda Open Space, Llanishen Park, Moorland Park, Pontcanna Fields, Pontprennau Fields, Roath Recreation Ground and Rumney Recreation Ground.

Two other green spaces in Cardiff, managed by local Community Councils are also protected in this way. They are Creigau Recreation Ground and Old St Mellons Playing Field.


Why is it just these eleven parks? Why aren't you protecting all of Cardiff's parks in this way?

Protecting these 11 parks is the continuation of our measured approach to safeguarding the city's parks. This process has already seen 10 council-owned parks protected by Fields In Trust and this new batch of protected parks will take that number to 21.

Only one city in the UK has currently taken the decision to protect all its parks with Fields In Trust. However, even here not all parks have been legally protected yet - the legal process of entering into the deed of dedication with Fields In Trust is being managed in batches of parks, similar to our approach in Cardiff.


How are the parks selected? Why aren't you protecting my local green space?

Fields in Trust have a number of criteria that must be met for parks to be protected. They include:

  • The council having ownership of the space by having a freehold interest or a leasehold interest of at least 99 years.
  • The green spaces must be used for informal physical activity and recreation, or formal sport.
  • The green space should be at least 0.2 hectares.
  • The green space must have some form of permanent public access.

When identifying sites for protection we also looked at:

  • areas of the city with the lowest levels of available green space, as any loss of these spaces would make the situation worse.
  • areas of the city where there are higher levels of poverty.
  • areas of the city that do not currently have a Council-owned site protected by Fields In Trust.
  • Parks and green spaces which include ‘Functional Open Space' (open space designed for play, sport and active recreation).

My local park isn't on the list. Does that mean the Council is planning to develop it?

No. It just means that, based on the criteria listed above, other parks and green spaces were considered a higher priority for protection.