A public consultation has now begun asking local people whether or not they support the idea of amateur running group Parkrun staging events in Battersea Park.
Parkrun is a national charity that organises 5km running events up and down the country. It offers some runners the chance to race against their peers while others taking part prefer a casual jog with friends and family. Encouraging exercise, in the context of a social event, offers benefits for physical and mental health, as well providing a connection to others in the community, and plays a role in reducing depression and social isolation.
If the proposal does proceed, the 5km Battersea Park route would commence in Central Avenue, passing the bandstand, and return via East Carriage Drive, South Carriage Drive and West Carriage Drive. Two circuits of this route would equate to 5km.
The route would avoid grassed areas and ensure runners kept to the park’s wide and spacious avenues.
The borough already stages another weekly Parkrun event - on Tooting Common – where it has been operating successfully since January 2016 – and which has proved enormously popular with local residents of all ages.
Parkrun is a national organisation that operates from 786 locations across the country. Since its launch in 2010, it has arranged more than 230,000 events with more than 46m people taking part in their free to enter weekly runs with another 400,000 people offering to volunteer.
Judi Gasser, Wandsworth’s Cabinet Member for Environment said: “Parkrun is a wonderful community event that is hugely popular across the country and which delivers tangible benefits to those taking part in their health and well-being.
“We absolutely support initiatives that promote sports and fitness and inspire our residents to lead healthier, more active lifestyles and if Parkrun is given the go-ahead, we would be particularly keen to ensure that local people living nearby and in Battersea’s surrounding neighbourhoods are actively encouraged to get involved.
“We believe we could successfully stage weekly Parkrun events in Battersea Park without causing undue disruption to other park users, but before taking any decisions we want to hear the voices of the local community and especially those who visit the park on a regular basis.”
And MP for Battersea Marsha de Cordova added: “I think it would be fantastic if Parkrun were able to come to Battersea Park, but it’s really important that local people take part in the consultation and have their say. The council needs to hear what local people think.”
The public consultation runs until Friday, 30 June. If Parkruns are permitted to go ahead it is likely to mean the temporary closure of Rosery Gate to vehicle traffic for short periods on Saturday mornings to accommodate the runners.
To take part please access the online survey at https://haveyoursay.citizenspace.com/wa ... s/parkrun/
Those people who would prefer a paper copy should email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (020) 3959 0060.
Staff from the council’s leisure and culture contractor Enable are also holding two face-to-face information sessions near the park’s Rosery Gate on:
Wednesday, 14 June: 4pm - 7pm
Saturday, 24 June: 10am - 1pm