The law not only affects recreation by controlling participants and organizers, but may also directly affect the provision of facilities. This may occur through powers vested in the government and by the establishment of government agencies and statutory bodies responsible for the provision of or to control the use of facilities.
Powers in relation to the provision of facilities of recreation have been conferred on all tiers of government from central government departments to local authorities, that is district and county councils and parish councils.
In central government departments recreation is often a by-product of a primary function such as education, and the department concerned with the primary function will decide where that function is located and which Secretary of State or Minister is responsible. Under the present departmental structure outdoor recreation and water naturally fall within the Department of the Environment; the Forestry Commission and fisheries fall within the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food; while schools and colleges are inseparable from the Department of Education and Science.
Ministerial powers were conferred on the Minister of Education in the Physical Training and Recreation Act 1937 to make grants towards the expenses of local voluntary organizations in providing or in aiding the provision of facilities for physical training and recreation, including the provision and equipment of gymnasiums, playing fields, swimming baths, bathing places, holiday camps and camping sites, and other buildings and premises for physical training and recreation, and for the training and supply of teachers and leaders