Hatfield Forest parkrun – Questions about the relocation

Q.           Why is the Hatfield Forest parkrun having to relocate to Castle Park, Bishop’s Stortford?

A.            The event is relocating to ensure it has a long term, all year round sustainable venue. Unfortunately our growth and expansion since 2015, combined with the limited number of winter hard standing car parking spaces available at the forest means that the event needed to find a new home in order to continue to offer events on a weekly basis.


Q.           Is this not all due to preserving the forest? 200+ runners per week must be causing damage to the forest?

A.            Throughout our residency at Hatfield Forest we have worked alongside the National Trust to understand the forest. The parkrun team first identified the need for a winter route during November 2014 and since the event has started, parkrun has operated on 7 different routes within Hatfield Forest, with another 4 that were planned and investigated, but did not progress further. When the National Trust and parkrun discussed the need to find a new venue, conservation and the Every Step Counts campaign were not the reasoning, parkrun has simply outgrown the venue in terms of winter parking availability.


Q.           Could the parkrun have not continued across multiple venues? Could we not have returned to the forest every summer?

A.            This was a scenario that we investigated & decided that it would be a barrier to participation and volunteering and would not be a viable long term solution. The event team, in conjunction with parkrun UK decided that it would be better for the event to operate from one location, Castle Park, in Bishop’s Stortford.


Q.           Where is Castle Park in Bishop’s Stortford?

A.            Castle Park is the name being introduced to cover the area of parkland in the centre of Bishop’s Stortford. Currently the area comprises of Sworder’s Field, Castle Gardens, Grange Paddocks, Town Park and Red, White & Blue.


Q.           When is the last parkrun at Hatfield Forest being held?

A.            Our last event at the forest will be on Saturday September 23rd at 09:00. We will be holding a picnic at the end of the event, next to the finish funnel to gather people together and wish farewell to what has been our home since March 2015.


Q.           When is the first parkrun at Castle Park being held?

A.            The inaugural Castle Park parkrun will be on Saturday September 30th at 09:00.


Q.           I am currently registered to Hatfield Forest parkrun, what will happen to my registration?

A.            As part of the transition, parkrun UK will migrate all registered Hatfield Forest parkrunners to Castle Park parkrun.


Q.           What will happen to my current parkruns recorded at the forest?

A.            Castle Park parkrun is being established as a new event, this means the September 30th run will be considered as Event #1. Hatfield Forest will be preserved on the parkrun database, ensuring that all records are displayed on a runner’s profile, all course records will also be retained.



Q.           I’ve purchased a Hatfield Forest parkrun apricot t-shirt, can I get a refund?

A.            Hatfield Forest will always have been a home event for you and your achievements will continue to be available to look at on the parkrun database. Through buying an apricot t shirts you have helped to fulfil the promise that parkrun will be free for all for ever. Who knows, they may become collectors items one day soon and you will continue to be proud to own it.


Q.           I’d like to purchase a Hatfield Forest parkrun apricot t-shirt, can I still buy one?

A.            Absolutely. The Hatfield Forest specific apricot items will remain on sale through Tribe Sports. When this situation changes, we will inform our parkrun community.


Q.           I’ve purchased National Trust membership so that I can benefit from free parking when I participate at Hatfield Forest parkrun. Can I get a refund on my membership?

A.            Please direct any National Trust related enquiries to the National Trust.


Q.           Will Castle Park parkrun be a dog friendly event?

A.            The event at Castle Park will begin as a dog friendly event, should the event grow significantly then the core team will review.


Q.           What car parks should we use in Bishop’s Stortford for Castle Park parkrun?

A.            Our nearest car parks are: Link Road CM23 2BA, Northgate End CM23 2ET & Causeway CM23 2EN. All are within a five minute walk of the bandstand. At the request of the local authorities we please ask that parkrunners do not park in the Jackson Square or Grange Paddocks car parks.


Q.           Will there be a meeting place for a post run cup of tea?

A.            The core team will usually head to The Port Jackson on Riverside Wharf after the run. Here results are processed, breakfast is consumed & all things parkrun are discussed. The Port Jackson is less than a 5 minute walk from the start / finish.


Q.           Why is this news being communicated now?

A.            Since hearing that event had to move, core team have devoted enormous personal time finding a workable solution and are now very confident that we have one and want to tell you now so that we can celebrate our last few weeks at HF together and plan for the start of Castle Park.


Q.           When are the remaining events at the forest?

A.            We have four more events at the forest:

August 26th - winter course

September 2nd – Horse Course & Pacer Day

September 9th – Cancelled due to Woodfest Festival

September 16th

September 23rd – Farewell event & Picnic