Since the UK general election of 2010 the government has entered into a programme of financial cuts affecting local authority services dramatically. This is especially the situation for sectors such as play (and green spaces) which are not statutory. Sheffield is a city in the north of England and this paper gives an insight into some of the impact that these massive financial cuts have had on local provision, either directly by local government or through voluntary and other organisations. Two adventure playgrounds in the city provide examples of the effect of the austerity measures and how the local communities are now involved in managing these important facilities.