Volunteers urged to help save popular Richmond parkrun


Management at the Royal Park are worried about the impact of the race.


By Jacob Metcalf

A popular run in Richmond Park is under threat after concerns were raised about the damage it is doing to the park’s environment.

The Royal Park hosts a 5km parkrun every Saturday at 9am, with around 180 runners attending every week.

Now park management say they are worried about the effect the race is having on the destruction of the natural grassland, the obstruction of the paths at the start and finish and the wellbeing of other park users.

Runners are being urged to fight the closure and to volunteer their time for the cause.

“This is a call to arms for our volunteers as we have a serious issue from The Royal Parks Management,” said Richmond parkrun spokeswoman Karen Weir.

“We could be under threat of losing our parkrun if we don’t act.”

Discussions are ongoing as to how the run can change to address some of the problems, with ideas including ensuring people to stick to the paths by using extra marshals and not encouraging any activity that would cause the attendance to swell.

There are also plans to change the start and finish of the race.

“These changes are going tyo take energy, commitment and buy-in; we absolutely can’t do it without your support and contribution,” Ms Weir added in an email to participants.

It is believed that the run at Bushy Park is also under threat.

Dog walkers in Richmond Park have also been affected by controversial new rules which have come into place.

Since April 2, all commercial dog walkers are being made to pay £300 annually for a licence and are limited to walking four animals at a time.

The new system will cover all the Royal Parks, and anyone caught without a licence could be fined and banned.

The licence system was introduced on April 2 and requires dog walkers to pay the £300 annually for a permit and agree to the code of conduct, limiting the number of dogs they can walk.

Photo courtesy of jojo 77, with thanks

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