17th July 2017
The Countess of Chester Country Park has marked two one-year anniversaries this July, with Chester parkrun and the Friends group celebrating their achievements over their first 12 months.
Chester parkrun is an inclusive, weekly 5km event that everyone can walk, jog or run. The inaugural event was held on 9th July 2016, with 234 participants taking on the 5km course. Since then, there have been over 11,646 participants, with an average of 233 people each week. Some 879 volunteering roles have been filled over the year, working out at 17 people who take on tasks such as timing, marshalling and handing out finish tokens every Saturday.
Matthew Dowsett, Event Director at Chester parkrun, said: “When we first began we could only dream of celebrating our first birthday and the number of people who would have joined us every Saturday morning. We are delighted to have reached this milestone and it was a pleasure to share the day with 246 parkrunners. There were many interesting fancy dress outfits, plenty of personal best times and a whole host of treats and refreshments afterwards. Special thanks to our local MP Chris Matheson who was true to his word and ran his first parkrun with us.”
Chester parkrun takes place every Saturday at 9am. It is free to everyone, but please register at www.parkrun.org.uk and bring along your printed barcode every time.
The Friends of Countess of Chester Country Park is also one year old, and continues to go from strength to strength. Led by Chair Ian Roberts, the group meets to explore ways they, and the wider community, can support, use and enhance the park through volunteering activities and events, such as community tree planting, educational visits and health activities.
Morag Scargill of the Friends group, commented: “It is wonderful to have a green space on the doorstep and it is so rewarding to be able to help look after it and encourage others to use it and get enjoyment from it.”
The next Friends meeting is on Wednesday 6th September at 7pm at the Little Owl pub and everyone is welcome to come along and find out how to get involved in the park. The next event is the family Picnic in the Park on Saturday 5th August from 11am until 3pm.Find out more on Facebook: www.facebook.com/friendsofcountesschestercountrypark/ or Twitter: https://twitter.com/FriendsCoCCP
Sarah Palgrave-Neath, Estates Manager North-West at the Land Trust, added: “Since the Countess of Chester Country Park opened in summer 2014 it has become a much-loved and well-used community asset. We’re delighted that the Chester parkrun team and Friends group have shown such passion and dedication for the local green space and look forward to the next year of outdoor activities for all.”
The Countess of Chester Country Park is next door to the Countess of Chester Health Park and covers 19 hectares of green open space, wetlands and forest. It is owned by national land management charity the Land Trust and maintained by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV). Less than a two-mile walk to the city centre, with accessible paths and regular free activities, it is ideally placed to bring the health benefits of the outdoors to a wide range of people.
For full details about all upcoming events and activities at Countess of Chester Country Park, visit: www.thelandtrust.org.uk/space/countess-of-chester-country-park/ or www.facebook.com/countessofchestercountrypark
Volunteering - great for team work – especially with people you might not interact with in your usual role. Great exercise – felt like a good activity outside in the sunshine!
AB Agri Corporate Volunteer at Fryston
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