No Plans To Charge For Local Parkruns

Weekend runners won't be told to 'keep off the grass' in local parks


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Neither Ealing nor Hounslow Council have plans to charge Parkrun to use the borough's parks for running activities including a popular weekly event at Gunnersbury Park.

There was an outcry this week when Stoke Gifford Parish Council in Bristol announced it would charge a fee for use of its grounds to the running group. The council wants to levy a charge of £1 per runner to cover ongoing maintenance costs.

A fun run at Gunnersbury Park

A run at Gunnersbury Park

Councillors claimed it was "unfair" to expect non-running residents to pay for the upkeep of paths, and were in favour of charges for "wear and tear".

Over 20,000 people have now signed a petition against the introduction of a charge. A fee would lead to Saturday events being cancelled in Little Stoke Park.

Hundreds of free-to-enter Parkrun UK timed 5k runs take place every Saturday morning at hundreds of parks around the country.

Hounslow Council said there was no plan at present to charge for running in any of the borough parks.

Parkrun operates in a number of Hounslow parks, and the Council support the team of local volunteers to deliver runs in Hounslow. Carillion, who currently manage a number of the parks for Hounslow Council, do not charge parkrun volunteers to operate runs. The Council has recently funded and supported the set-up of two new junior Parkruns in the borough which will begin later this year.

In Ealing, Parkruns take place on Saturdays in both Gunnersbury and Northala Fields and a junior one on Sundays in Pitshanger - all are extremely popular.

Ealing Cabinet member for Environment and Transport and Leisure, Councillor Bassam Mahfouz, said: “Parkrun is a fantastic, fun, free way to get fit with a great group of people in a gorgeous setting. There is no way that I would entertain any suggestions of charging Park Run for their activities.''

Kelvin Walker, director of Pitshanger Junior ParkRun welcomed the news: ''It’s relatively reassuring to hear that Ealing Council have no intention of charging for our Pitshanger junior parkrun event in Ealing. In just over a year we have had 700 children complete the 2k free weekly event and it’s the highlight of the week for runners and volunteers alike."

April 15, 2016

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