Enniskillen parkrun announces new venue

Castle Coole sits above Lough Coole and surrounding parkland
Published : 08 Aug 2016

Enniskillen parkrun is set to relocate their weekly 5km event from Castle Coole to a new location at The Lakeland Forum on 3 September.

The mutually agreed decision was taken after the popularity of the event saw an increased conservation impact on the National Trust property.

Jim Chestnutt, Manager for the National Trust in Fermanagh, said:

‘The popularity of Enniskillen parkrun at Castle Coole has grown significantly over the past 12 months with upwards of 120 runners enjoying the weekly 5km event. We recognise that participants appreciate the beautiful setting of Castle Coole, and it is also very encouraging to see more people getting into the fresh air and enjoying outdoor exercise.’

However, the popularity of the weekly event is having an impact on the conservation charity’s limited resources at the property. Jim continued:

‘Over recent months National Trust and Enniskillen parkrun have been discussing the increasing demand of the event at Castle Coole and the growing impact this will continue to have on our limited resources as a conservation charity. The cost of maintaining Castle Coole to its present standard of care is significant and the Trust needs to sustain the property`s long term future through the support of all visitors who come to enjoy its developing facilities.

‘During our discussions the Trust and parkrun acknowledged that the growing conservation impact of the popular run cannot be sustained at Castle Coole, and we jointly decided to seek an alternative venue for the weekly event. We have enjoyed an excellent working relationship with parkrun since the event moved to Castle Coole and we wish Enniskillen parkrun continuing future success.’

Matt Shields, Country Manager for parkrun in Northern Ireland, said:

‘The decision to change venues has been made in agreement with the National Trust. We would like to thank the National Trust for hosting us at Castle Coole over the past twelve months, in which time we have had great support from the ground staff on a weekly basis and seen a steady growth in the number of people participating. We look forward to continuing to grow the parkrun community in our new location.’

Tom Williams, Chief Operating Officer at parkrun Global, said:

‘Since we started our first National Trust event in April 2011 we have built a fantastic relationship between our two organisations, which has seen more than 500,000 run performances completed across 29 National Trust properties. The National Trust host more parkrun events than any other landowner anywhere in the world, and critical to achieving that has been our focus on respecting the challenges associated with operating in such sensitive areas of nature.

‘Although it’s always hard to leave such a beautiful location, we’ve decided to do so as, in this case, it’s best for the parkrun and the property. We remain great friends and will always be thankful for Castle Coole’s support during the early days of Enniskillen parkrun.’