Against the backcloth of rapid urban expansion, the London Playing Fields Society (now known as the London Playing Fields Foundation) was formed in 1890 by visionary Victorian philanthropists who were concerned about loss of green space in London and the need to provide sport and recreation for current and future generations. By helping to protect the capital’s playing fields from the threat of development, the newly formed charity was able to maintain the public’s enthusiasm for sporting pursuits. This valuable contribution was publicly recognised with the granting of a Royal Charter in 1925.
Our original objectives to
“provide or assist in the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time activities in the interests of social welfare at places within or adjoining that area which formerly came within the administrative area of Greater london council including the provision of facilities for outdoor games and athletics for persons who by reasons of youth, age, infirmity or disablement, poverty or social and economic circumstances, may not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy them”
survived two World Wars and are just as relevant today as they were back in the late nineteenth century.
Despite receiving no core funding from central or local government, the Foundation has worked tirelessly for over a century to protect playing fields in the capital and in the last fifteen years we have played a key role in securing the long term future of over twenty endangered sites, three of which we now manage directly.