Discussions are ongoing about the future of Newbury parkrun.
The popular weekly five kilometre timed run has been taking place on Greenham and Crookham Commons for several years.
It is part of parkrun Global, a registered charity which organises runs at 9am on Saturdays across the world.
In February, Nick Pearson, Chief Executive officer of parkrun Global, said that he expected “all 5K parkrun events across England (to) return on Saturday 5 June 2021”, according to the government’s Covid “road map”.
On June 18th, parkrun Global published an update saying that, following the change in the government’s road map, they would “work towards” re-opening parkrun across England on July 24th. At the same time, they published a list of 520 parkruns where landowner permissions are in place for parkruns to hopefully return on that date.
Unfortunately, Newbury parkrun was not on that list. On June 11th, Newbury parkrun posted the following update on social media:
“Parkrun HQ has been working tirelessly with land owners to secure permissions for events to return and has amazingly achieved over 90% of events to restart on 26th June. However, unfortunately we have to announce that currently we have NOT been granted landowner permission to restart at Newbury. Be rest assured, parkrun HQ and your local event director Neil Germain are not giving up and are doing all in their power to bring our event back. We hope to have more positive news in the near future.”
It is understood that the delicate ecosystem of the Commons, combined with the popularity of Newbury parkrun, has raised unique issues which are being discussed by the various stakeholders.
There is a petition to “Support the restart of Newbury parkrun at Greenham Common” on change.org. At the time of writing, 784 people have signed it.