In principle agreement reached for Parkrun to come to Battersea Park

Published: Wednesday 23rd January 19

Amateur running group Parkrun has moved a step closer to staging events in Battersea Park following discussions between the town hall and the group’s local organisers.

Subject to further clarification of some essential details, Parkrun could begin organising events in this iconic London open space on an initial trial basis to see how the races impact on the park and other park users.

The council and its leisure and culture contractor Enable have made good progress in their discussions with Parkrun’s local representatives, and as a result, the council is minded to give the initiative an “in principle” approval

Parkrun already operates every Saturday morning on Tooting Common following a successful six month pilot scheme that began in January 2016.

And following in its wake, Junior Parkrun events for children aged between four and 14 are also set to commence on Tooting Common in March.

The 5km Battersea Park route could commence at The Bandstand and utilise the park’s carriage drives which form an internal ring road.

This route would avoid grassed areas and ensure runners kept to the park’s wide and spacious avenues.

As part of the discussions the council has also sought the views of the important local amenity group The Friends of Battersea Park.

Environment spokesman Cllr Steffi Sutters said: “As a result of the ongoing discussions we have had with representatives from Parkrun we believe these events could begin in Battersea Park.

“There are some important outstanding issues that still need to be ironed out but there is a willingness on both sides to work together to make this happen.

“Our important partners in The Friends of Battersea Park have also given the initiative a cautious welcome, as long as it does not cause damage to the park or cause undue inconvenience to other park users. We have stressed to Parkrun’s organisers the crucial role they will have to play to ensure these events are properly managed and supervised.

“Of course if problems do arise during the trial period then we would look to address these straight away.

“We absolutely support initiatives that promote sports and fitness and inspire our residents to lead healthier, more active lifestyles and if and when Parkrun commences in Battersea Park we will be particularly keen to ensure that local people living nearby and in Battersea’s surrounding neighbourhoods are actively encouraged to get involved.”

Before any events can be staged Parkrun’s local organisers will also need to submit their plans and win the backing of the group’s head office.

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Recent comments

Really good news about coming to Battersea Park, it will be so popular with the local get fitter brigade, I'm in my 60s and will hopefully be at the first BP run and we will see you there too, Simon
Simon Rivers

13 April 2019

Would love for this to go ahead!
Eilidh Gill

3 April 2019

This is fantastic news. There are already races held in the park so I have no doubt it will be able to cope with parkrun.
Cal Jones

6 February 2019

This is great news! Park Run is such a commendable (international) initiative. The advantage of this run is that it is always 5K, so runners will only take a short time to complete, thereby leaving Battersea Park free for all the other activities on a Saturday. Park Run has a great philosophy: encouraging children and new runners and welcoming runners who may be visiting from other parts of the country / other parts of the globe. They are supportive to all. It will generate income for Battersea Park's cafes, too. Runners eat lots of cake!
Susan Buck

28 January 2019

Predictable support from PR enthusiasts below but make no mistake Park Run is a large event - comparable to some of the corporate events . If Clapham is anything to go by expect upwards of 1,000 runners with their retinue of yellow vests taking up a the main thoroughfare of the park for a big chunk of EVERY Saturday morning which means blocking normal use of the park, local parking issues etc. And once it starts it is only likely to get bigger there will be no going back. Friends of Battersea Park do not speak for local residents. Why has WBC changed its view on this?

25 January 2019

Parkrun is a wonderful community initiative that encourages people to have healthier lifestyles as well as having fun and combatting lonelines. I do hope the Council, Parkrun and other stakeholders can find a way to make this work.
Nick Bush

25 January 2019

About bloody time. They don’t care too much for any disruption caused by corporate events in the park .
Peter Noble

25 January 2019

Great idea, should be fun and good news for the cafes. Would suggest starting and finishing somewhere on the carriage drive route. Many of those attending current smaller groups that exercise in the park arrive by bike and when the meet point is inside such as the bandstand it leads to illegal cycling on the footpaths which can be problematic for other park users.

25 January 2019

Fantastic news! There is the Sri Chinmoy 10k event on selected Saturday mornings through out the year, potentially they could collaborate to encourage runners to go that extra distance?
Ads May

25 January 2019

I love parkrun, such a lovely friendly, supportive community event. I hope very much this goes ahead in Battersea Park. Be good for the park cafe(s) too, as runners love cake and coffee after the event.
John Grigg

24 January 2019

Excellent news. Looking forward to it. Suggesting though that the start should be in front of the Millennium Arena as it is wider for the expected crowds wanting to cross start line early and nobody would have to spill over to grass. Finish at bandstand would work fine.

24 January 2019

This is brilliant news!! Can't wait for Parkrun in my local park

24 January 2019