Open Space Categories

Open space land uses are classified by previous PPG17 categories and sub-categories as follows.
Sub-categories are based on classifications used in the London Survey Method open space surveys.

i. Parks and GardensPark refers to traditional public open spaces laid out formally for leisure and recreation. They usually include a mixture of lakes, ponds, lidos, woodland, flower beds, shrubs, ornamental trees, play spaces, toilets, cafes and car parks but not necessarily all of these. Examples include the Royal Parks, municipal parks such as Battersea Park, and wilder places such as Hampstead Heath.
Formal garden refers to spaces with well defined boundaries that display high standards of horticulture with intricate and detailed landscaping. It includes the London squares common to central London. Examples include Belgrave Square and Soho Square.
ii. Natural and Semi-natural Urban GreenspacesCommon is a formal designation. They are publicly accessible open spaces with few if any facilities. They will typically be mainly rough open grassland and/or woodland, and are less formal than parks or parkland. Examples include Wimbledon Common and Clapham Common.
Country Parks are large areas set aside for informal countryside recreation near or within towns and cities. A list of sites that call themselves Country Parks is available on the Natural England website.
Private woodland refers to woodland which is not accessible for recreational use, and not managed for nature conservation.
Public woodland refers to woodland which is accessible for recreational use, but not managed for nature conservation.
Nature reserve is a category reserved for an open space that is managed primarily for nature conservation.
iii. Green CorridorsRiver
Canal implies an artificial waterway which is navigable. Docks are also included in this category.
Railway cutting and railway embankment
Disused railway trackbed
Road island/verge
Walking/cycling route
iv. Outdoor Sports FacilitiesRecreation ground is an area of mown grass used primarily for informal, unorganised ball games and similar activities (including dog walking).
Playing fields comprise playing pitches, usually for football, but also for rugby and hockey, and in summer, for cricket. They often have changing rooms and pavilions.
Golf course
Other recreational refers to sites that are used exclusively or predominantly for other organised sports such as bowls or tennis.
v. AmenityAmenity green space is an expanse of grass used for informal recreation. There will be few, if any, facilities.
Village green is a formal designation. It is usually an expanse of grass in the centre of old villages, often used in the summer for cricket.
Hospital includes the grounds of any clinic or health centre.
Educational refers to school or college ground and field study centres where school education is the primary function.
Landscaping around premises includes communal amenity space around housing estates and community centres, and also landscaping around industrial premises.
Reservoir includes covered reservoirs unless these form part of a park.
vi. Children and TeenagersPlay space is a site set aside mainly for children. It will contain the usual assortment of swings, slides and roundabouts.
Adventure playground is a defined play area for children in a supervised environment.
Youth area is a defined area for teenagers including skateboard parks, outdoor basketball hoops and other informal areas.
vii. Allotments, Community Gardens and City FarmsAllotments
Community Garden is an area that is generally managed and maintained by the local population as a garden and/or for food growing. They are normally restricted in their access. Examples include Phoenix Garden in Holborn.
City farm includes areas that are generally managed and maintained as a small farm by the local population, containing livestock and planting. They are normally restricted in their access. For example Freightliners Farm in Islington.
viii. Cemeteries and ChurchyardsCemetery/churchyard includes burial grounds, graveyards, crematorium grounds and memorial gardens, and gardens or grounds of non-Christian places of worship.
ix. Other Urban FringeEquestrian centre includes any land used for intensive horse keeping and riding.
Agriculture includes arable and grazing land, including horse grazing and market gardening.
x. Civic SpacesCivic/market square includes tarmac areas or paved open spaces, which may or may not include planting. They do not necessarily have seats and may just be a plaza area. They often provide a setting for civic buildings and opportunities for open air markets and civic events. Examples include the area in front of the jubilee line station at Canary Wharf and the plaza in front of Westminster Cathedral.
Other hard surfaced areas include other areas designated for pedestrians. These typically are used as sitting out areas, for example Emma Cons Gardens opposite the Old Vic Theatre. The category does not include pedestrianised streets and car parks.
xi. OtherSewage/water works
Disused quarry/gravel pit. This may be water-filled, but is not necessarily so.
Vacant land is land with no formal use.
Land reclamation is land recently decontaminated or reclaimed from disuse, which has not yet been redeveloped.
Others could be anything that does not fit any of the above categories, such as airfields.