Tring Parkrun ends its 8-year run after 18-month battle with the Woodland Trust

The weekly run has ended after an 18 month battle with the Woodland Trust

By Olivia Preston
Wednesday, 6th April 2022, 3:50 pm
Since 2014, Tring Parkrun has been a staple in the community's weekly calendar.
Since 2014, Tring Parkrun has been a staple in the community's weekly calendar.

Volunteers were ‘saddened’ to announce the closure of Tring Parkrun after campaigning for the event to return.

A statement on Tring Parkrun’s website said: “Unfortunately, it’s pretty clear that the current management of the Woodland Trust will not enter into further discussion, even with our final route being fully in the Woods.”

It continued: “The alternatives we have looked at do not have the required combination of a suitable course, location and parking.”

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Volunteers are disappointed to see the event end after eight years.

Volunteer Ken Douglas, who helped at the run held at Tring Park on Saturday mornings, said that the event was started in 2014 to encourage locals to exercise.

He said “It was an idea just to get some get the local community out running, jogging, walking in Tring Park and really to form a bit of a social community.

Ken also said that people are saddened by the news of the closure.

“People are obviously disappointed that they can't get together in the way that they enjoyed on a Saturday morning in Tring Park. The overarching sentiment and feeling is that it was a really special event,” he added.

The Tring Parkrun was the first of its kind, which featured a trail through wild woodland and fields of cows.

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The Woodland Trust, when undertaken by new management, withdrew support of hosting the run on the site that the Trust leases from the council.

A spokesperson from the Woodland Trust said: “We have continued discussions with Parkrun in good faith over the last 18 months. The site at Tring is particularly special and contains several sensitive and significant ecosystems, including one of the biggest chalk grasslands left in Hertfordshire.”

“We have put forward several options to continue Parkrun, including reducing the size and frequency of the runs but unfortunately this has not been resolved. Our priority is to protect the future of Tring Park for generations to come, for people and nature, which does mean difficult decisions to safeguard its use.”

Despite no longer having the Tring Parkrun take place every week, the community spirit among the participants remains. Ken said: “We've got lots of fantastic memories and lots of people have discovered the benefits of exercise and the benefits of getting outdoors.”