Centenary Fields Legacy

Centenary Fields Legacy: To mark the conclusion of Centenary Fields, the Fields in Trust World War I commemorative programme, communities across the UK will demonstrate their gratitude to the WWI generation with a series of events and activities on these legally protected parks and green spaces. Fields in Trust will reveal the story of one Centenary Field each day in an online interactive map. Staring on 8th August the Centenary Fields legacy programme will run until the anniversary of Armistice Day on 11th November. This campaign is in delivered in partnership with the Royal British Legion’s “Thank You” project highlighting the nation’s gratitude to the generation who served in WWI.

Stories featured will highlight the contribution of individual combatants, those who returned – and many who did not. We will also look at memorials to the fallen, ranging from simple village stone cross to more intricate commemorative sculpture. We will explore how these parks and green spaces served the War effort – for example providing timber for trenches. We will also address the contemporary resonance – communities doing something now to remember the sacrifice of 100 years ago.

Centenary Fields Legacy

The Centenary Fields Legacy campaign will start on Wednesday 8th August by featuring War Memorial Park in Coventry. This large 120-acre site was the location for the launch of Centenary Fields in July 2014 by Fields in Trust President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge. His Royal Highness laid a wreath at the foot of the war memorial, took part in sport and educational activities and helped local school children plant poppy seeds. Speaking at the launch in 2014 Fields in Trust President, HRH The Duke of Cambridge, said:

The Centenary Fields programme aims to save in perpetuity scores of memorial spaces around the country.  Each moment of play or leisure that takes place on a Memorial Field is, in a way, an act of remembrance. I am delighted that Fields in Trust have identified these Centenary Fields as a vital part of our national heritage and well-being, which we cannot take for granted.  I encourage local authorities to support this cause and to safeguard these living spaces of remembrance for generations to come.”

As the programme reaches its conclusion, communities across the UK will be making significant anniversaries with events at parks and green spaces to say thank you to the WWI generation, Whilst online, a Centenary Field will be revealed on our website map each day at 11 am, (see www.fieldsintrust.org/centenary-fields-legacy). The stories of each of the sites, and those individuals commemorated there, will be shared in local press coverage and social media as the green spaces around the UK are revealed.

Fields in Trust’s Centenary Fields programme legally protects parks and green spaces in perpetuity. The Centenary Fields legacy project honours the memory of the World War I servicemen and also those – military and civilian – who played their part on the home front to build a better life for the benefit of generations to come.

 Centenary Fields protected as part of the programme include war memorials, parks and recreation grounds, memorial gardens, playing fields or other green spaces with a significant World War I link. The Centenary Fields legacy project contributes to the Royal British Legion’s Thank You movement. These important spaces form a vital part of local heritage and play a key role in making the First World War relevant to today’s generation – fully embracing the spirit of this centenary year.

Fields in Trust Chief Executive Helen Griffiths comments:

Congratulations to the parks and green spaces selected as part of our Centenary Fields legacy project. These sites will be included forever in our national programme to commemorate the centenary of World War I. Dedicating these spaces not only commemorates the sacrifices of those who gave their lives during the conflict but also ensures that future generations have valuable places to enjoy as a living legacy.”

The Fields in Trust Centenary Fields programme publicly demonstrates our gratitude to the World War I generation in a unique way. Protecting parks and green spaces means local communities will always have somewhere for play, sport – or a quiet moment of reflection.

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