CAMPAIGNERS for Poole’s open spaces say they are overjoyed at receiving official backing for moves to protect Baiter and Whitecliff recreation grounds.

Parkstone Bay Association has won the support of the council’s cabinet for plans to designate the sites as Queen Elizabeth II Fields in Trust.

The association has agreed to drop its campaign for the sites to be designated an official town or village green if the council backs the idea. The whole council will vote on February 23.

Eunice Marsden, the association’s vice-chair, said: “The PBA feel that we have something to smile about now that we find ourselves with full support from both the scrutiny and overview committee and full cabinet of the council to add to the overwhelming and steadfast support from our community.

“The Parkstone Bay Association has fought all attempts to curtail our local green open space for over 35 years, and, throughout that time, have held fast to the concept that we do not inherit our environment from our parents, we borrow it from our children.”

The Fields in Trust idea is part of a national initiative to protect 2,012 open spaces for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, promoted by Prince William, the Duke of Cambridge.

Eunice Marsden hoped the fields could be renamed as Fields In Trust in time for the Jubilee celebrations in June, with community celebrations taking place around the event.

Parkstone councillor Anne Stribley said ward members were supporting the Fields In Trust proposals and that the application should give reassurance to the public, although the council had always intended to protect the sites.

Fellow ward councillor Tony Woodcock said: “It puts the concerns to bed. The people who were pushing for the town and village green are quite happy that it’s been resolved.