In 2004, a field of approximately 35 acres (15 hectares) in the centre of the village became available for sale. Under threat from a developer, who intended to parcel up the land into small units and sell on the Internet, a number of residents decided that the village should attempt to acquire the land. Twenty acres were purchased privately by individuals for their own use. The remainder was secured by a syndicate of five residents who provided an interest-free loan until the Parish Council was in a position to purchase the land, which it did in 2006. The East Chiltington Trust was then established as a Charity to hold the land for the benefit of all residents of East Chiltington. The total cost of the land was £56,100.
In 2007, a consultation with residents established that there was an overwhelming desire to see the TECT field remain in agricultural use with continued community access. Since then, TECT has maintained the field through an agricultural tenancy with a local farmer. In 2011, a community orchard was created on part of the field opposite the Jolly Sportsman and in 2014 deciduous trees were planted near the border with the railway line. In 2016, TECT agreed to lease a portion of the field to the East Chiltington allotment group.
The East Chiltington Trust is registered with the Charity Commission, registration number 1114994.
TECT’s formal objects are set out in the Trust Deed. They are:
1. To promote for the benefit of all residents in the parish of East Chiltingon and the surrounding area the provision of facilities for recreation or other leisure time occupation of individuals who have need of such facilities by reason of their youth, age, infirmity or disablement, financial hardship or social and economic circumstances or for the public at large in the interest of social welfare and with the object of improving the condition of life of the said inhabitants.
2. The promotion of community participation in healthy recreation for the benefit of the residents of East Chiltington by the provision of facilities for events, sport and the playing of games.
3. To promote for the benefit of the public the conservation, protection and improvement of the physical and natural environment of the land on the north and northwest of Chapel Lane, East Chiltington.
4. To promote for the benefit of the inhabitants of the parish of East Chiltington such charitable purposes as the trustees may from time to time decide primarily by the provision of grants and loans.