Petitioning Chief Executive, The Royal Parks Linda Lennon CBE

The Royal Parks: Keep Hyde Park free from charges to play sport.


Last year you helped remove the unlawful charges for people to play sport in Hyde Park. Together we took them on and won!  But now they want to try to sneak them back and we have just one month to stop it.

We need your help!

From using jumpers for goalposts for a game of 5-a-side footie with your friends to playing games of rounders with your family on a sunny day, the park is the place people go to play sport. But not for long.

Hyde Park is one of London’s biggest parks and the place that thousands of Londoners flock to hang out and play. But after failing the first time round, the Royal Parks want to let a private company manage an area and charge people to play sport. We can’t let that happen.

Sign the petition to keep sport free in Hyde Park.

11 years ago just 9 charities got together to play some softball in Hyde Park. Every year it’s got bigger and bigger and it’s now the 2nd biggest softball league in the country!

For everyone taking part it’s a great way to meet similar minded people in other charities and make new friends (or even “more than friends” - there are now over a dozen softball couples and even a few babies because of the league!). We’ve become firmly embedded in the community and have a great relationship with neighbouring businesses and other groups who use the park.

We don’t want to get in the way of other people enjoying the park to picnic or relax so we’ve always stuck to the patch reserved for sport on the east side of the park known as the Old Football Pitches.

But, when we started play in 2013 a private came up to us demanding that we pay if we wanted to continue playing! Not only did they want an up front fee, but also wanted to charge per game.

We were shocked. But with your help we were able to challenge the fees and get them removed. An incredible 87% of people who responded to their tokenistic consultation to justify charging said that charging for sport was unrealistic. But according to the Royal Parks this isn’t ‘statistically significant’ and now they are trying again.

This isn’t just about us - it’s about anyone who wants to play in the park.

These are our parks. We’ve already paid for them. They’re there to be used and enjoyed by everyone. London is a busy and expensive city, where so many people don’t have access to their own green space and can’t afford to pay to use other facilities.

Two years on from the London Olympics we should be protecting the remaining free spaces and encouraging more people to play sport. 

Sign the petition to keep sport free in Hyde Park.

Leo, Paul, Joe, Nathan and Vanessa
London Charity Softball League
@SaveOurSoftball #SoSHydePark

Letter to
Chief Executive, The Royal Parks Linda Lennon CBE
Please keep sport free in Hyde Park. I love using the park to get active and play sport.

As one of the few places left in London that doesn't charge, we need to
protect this space from fees. Keep all of London’s most iconic park free for anyone who wants to play sport.

Last year 87% of people who responded to your survey said that charging for sport was unrealistic.

Please listen and do the right thing.