The return of parkrun in England could be delayed ‘indefinitely’ because of a lack of permission from landowners, organisers have said.
Parkrun told Runner's World that, at the time of writing, full or partial permission to restart the free 5Ks has been granted by local authorities or private landowners representing 222 events.
They added: ‘We are incredibly grateful to all those landowners who have responded so far, and granted permission for the return of events. However, in order to provide some certainty for local communities, and to give enough time for event teams to prepare, we will be making an announcement on Friday, May 21, to confirm whether or not events are able to return on June 5 as planned.’
Although the events have legal permission to return and support from public health bodies, organisers say confusion around the government’s roadmap, combined with hesitation and red tape, means that many landowners are reluctant to grant permission for the events to go ahead, which ‘threatens the delay of parkrun indefinitely’.
In a statement last week, parkrun said: ‘As things stand, the return of the free, weekly community events hangs in the balance…the number of permissions must increase significantly over the next seven days for any of the events to return on Saturday, June 5.’
Conservative MP David Davis wrote to colleagues in the House of Commons last week, urging them to support the return of parkrun.
He wrote: ‘Parkruns were legally able to return from Step 1 of the government roadmap in March. Yet, today, a significant number of landowners (a mix of local authorities and some private landowners) are putting unacceptable and potentially unlawful barriers in the way of parkrun returning.’
He added: ‘It is likely that we will see the reopening of pubs, clubs, casinos, large-scale indoor events, and others ahead of this national public health initiative. That is nonsensical.
‘As a result, I am asking for your urgent help. Please reach out to your local government political representatives and chief executives to request that they urgently support the return of parkrun on 5 June.’
You Might Also Like