Enniskillen Parkrunners are being balloted over the next month as the search continues for a new venue for their weekly 5k.
Last month, the National Trust withdrew permission for parkrunners to use the Castle Coole estate on Saturday mornings, two years after the event moved there from its original venue at the Lakeland Forum. The Trust previously insisted the decision to relocate the event was “mutual” and due to the long-term conservation impact at the estate. It later emerged that a request was made by Fermanagh National Trust general manager Jim Chestnutt to charge local runners after he expressed his disappointment that only 20 per cent of runners had become fully fledged members, meaning that 80 per cent could use facilities for free while others pay the normal entrance fee.
For the past two weeks, the Parkrun has returned to the Forum with the permission of Fermanagh and Omagh District Council. However the hunt is now on for a more “a permanent ‘home’” at either the Forum or at Castle Archdale, ten miles north of Enniskillen.
The local Parkrun group has said that “both locations have their own unique properties, benefits and advantages”.
A spokesman for Parkrun said this week: “This decision impacts on more than just ourselves. It impacts you, our regular parkrunners and volunteers.
Therefore, we would like you to have your say in the process. Enniskillen Parkrun is your event, and we feel it is only fair that you have your opportunity to have your say.
A simple majority is being sought. We realise it is not an easy decision.”
Runners are currently being balloted on their preferred route with maps of both locations and lists of some ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ of each proposed area available to view on their Facebook page.
Parkrunners can vote online or through a paper ballot until 10:30am on Saturday 15th October when the result will be revealed.
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition