A trust of land for its use for the purposes of public recreation such as playing fields, parks, and gymnasiums, is charitable. Clauson J construed the late Mr Hadden’s will as establishing a trust for the supply of healthy recreation carried on mainly or chiefly in the open air and, in particular, by means of the provision of playing fields, parks and gymnasiums. As the trust was to be permanent, it had to be a charitable trust if it were to avoid offending the rule against perpetuities
Clauson J distinguished Nottage saying: ‘ . . I am of the opinion that the fact that the provision of prizes and like means for the mere encouragement of sport has been held not to be a charitable purpose (see In re Nottage …) offers no obstacle in the way of my conclusion. I see no trace in the present will of a desire to encourage mere sport; the health and welfare of the working classes is obviously the dominant object in the testator’s mind. Nor can I see that any difficulty arises from the fact that the testator contemplates that the beneficiaries should be working people, that is to say, using the term in the popular though inaccurate sense, members of a social class who are not likely to have satisfactory facilities for similar recreation within the cartilage of their own houses. It is surely far too late in the day to suggest that, in so far as it may be necessary that the element of public benefit should be inherent in the trust if it is to be held charitable, that element is not secured by the direction that working people generally are to be beneficiaries.’
‘… I ought to add that I am of the opinion that the fact that the provision of prizes and like means for the mere encouragement of sport has been held not to be a charitable purpose (see Re Nottage) offers no obstacle in the way of my conclusion. I see no trace in the present will of a desire to encourage mere sport; the health and welfare of the working classes is obviously the dominant object in the testator’s mind.’
Clauson J went on to conclude that the working classes were a sufficient section of the public to meet the public benefit test, to which further reference is made below. It was the ‘health and welfare of the working classes’ that was the relevant object of the trust. That approach, so far as playing polo is concerned, would not assist the saving of the trust in this case.
 1 Ch 133,  All ER 539
Mortmain and Charitable Users Act 1888
England and Wales
Distinguished – Re Nottage CA 12-Jul-1895
A testator bequeathed a fund in trust to provide annually for ever a cup to be given to the most successful yacht of the season, stating that his object in giving the cup was to encourage the sport of yacht-racing.
Held: (affirming the . .
Cited – Hitchin Cow Commoners Trust, Re ChD 5-Dec-2001
Land was registered as a common. Rights had been created over the land under the 1882 Act after the Inclosure Acts. Were these rights in the nature of charitable trusts? No use of the land as a cow common had taken place with living memory, and most . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Updated: 18 December 2021; Ref: scu.182829