All three Crawley parkruns given permission to return

Crawley Borough Council has given conditional permission for all three parkruns in the town to return.

Friday, 21st May 2021, 4:47 pm
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 4:48 pm

Parkrun is a free, timed, weekly run organised by local volunteer groups. Crawley boasts three parkruns – 5km events at Tilgate Park and Ifield Mill Pond on Saturdays and a 2km junior parkrun at Tilgate Park on Sundays.

Adult parkruns will recommence on Saturday, June 26. Junior parkrun will restart on Sunday, June 6. All start at 9am.

The council has worked with the local event directors for the past three weeks to bring parkrun back sooner.

Competitors at Tilgate Parkrun in 2017. Picture by Steve Robards.

However, parkrun’s tight timeframes didn’t allow us to confirm approval by the national deadline.

The total weekly attendance before lockdown was about 1,000 runners; this number is expected to increase because running has grown in popularity over the past 15 months.

All parks, and in particular Tilgate Park, have seen increased footfall during the pandemic; some park users won’t be aware that parkrun used to take place and some may be visiting our parks to get away from crowded areas.

The council has been working with the three local event directors to ensure that the events can return safely – for runners and other park users.

Permission for all three parkruns has been given subject to compliance with Sussex Resilience Forum guidance and minor adjustments to the event risk assessments, primarily around the impact on other park users. These are:

- Clear advance notice signage that parkrun intends to resume, to give other park users the opportunity to avoid the course route during the run, or indeed to join or volunteer

- Written communication with Tilgate Park residents and businesses

- A communication plan including clear social media and website information to remind runners of the COVID-safe rules of the run

- Additional course signage to warn other park users on the day

- Enhancements to the risk assessments.

The council will monitor any feedback it receives about parkrun.

For more information about parkruns in Crawley, including course routes, visit parkrun.org.uk/tilgate/, parkrun.org.uk/ifieldmillpond/ and parkrun.org.uk/tilgate-juniors/