The Duke of Cambridge will today urge people to help safeguard their local public and recreational spaces for future generations. As Patron of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, the Duke has helped launch the online voting phase of the Challenge, called ‘Save a Space for Me’.
The Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge is an initiative run by Fields in Trust to protect and create 2,012 playing fields throughout the United Kingdom by the end of 2012 in honour of The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and to coincide with the London Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Since the challenge was launched in June last year, a large number of outdoor spaces have been put forward by local authorities for protection. The ‘Save a Space for Me’ process will allow members of the public to vote online for their preferred local spaces to be permanently protected, whether they are in the middle of a bustling city or the wide open countryside.
Speaking in a video message to support the campaign, the Duke said:
“As Patron of the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge, I have been delighted at the way local authorities all round Britain have responded to the invitation to nominate fields for protection.”
“We have been offered coastline and woodland, as well as existing children’s playgrounds and recreational fields. Now we need you to join in. In many areas, there are more nominations than can be accommodated so we need you to vote for your favourite space in your community. You can vote online at www.qe2fields.com, from October 18th but voting is only open for a month, so please don’t delay!”
“Protecting these sites through the Queen Elizabeth II Fields Challenge will mean that millions of people for generations to come can take part in sport, play and enjoyment. Many of these sites may be lost in the future if they are not protected. The sites will also be at the heart of many Diamond Jubilee parties next year.”
“I can think of no better way to pay tribute to The Queen in the 60th year of her reign, a year that coincides with the Olympic Games in our country.”
Ready access to playing fields has been shown to help with community cohesion, reduce anti-social behaviour and improve health and wellbeing.