A regular Nantwich “Parkrun” event on the Barony could be a few strides closer after councillors backed the idea amid the park’s “masterplan” consultation.

The “Barony Masterplan” includes a running/walking track around the perimeter of the park.

It would also see the disused toilet block on the Barony Road side refurbished to provide better toilet facilities and a potential cafe or snack bar.

Money is in place for new planting of trees and bushes to provide a more attractive perimeter around the park, with work due to begin in March.

And after the Masterplan consultation ends, it is hoped funds will be secured to revamp the disused skate park as well as install the new track.

Plans have been welcomed by Nantwich Town Council and other campaigners aiming to introduce the popular “Parkrun” weekly events to the town.

Cllr John Statham said: “There has been some interest from local groups in starting a Parkrun in Nantwich and they are looking into the requirements.

“I know the wooden fence has split people 50-50, but this is part of a bigger project. It is exciting and a long term project.”

Cllr Arthur Moran added: “Cllr Akers-Smith (CEC walking and cycling champion) has agreed to a running and walking track round the Barony. We’re not sure what surface it will be yet.”

Barony Park masterplan
Barony Park masterplan

Paul McIntrye, chairman of Nantwich Triathlon Club, welcomed the news.

He said he has met with Cheshire East Council’s walking and cycling champion Cllr Akers-Smith to discuss the Park Run idea.

Paul, also a regular Parkrunner, said: “Crewe has a great Parkrun but with the opportunity to change the Barony it’s a chance to get Nantwich one for the health benefits and tourism revenue it brings.

“One of our club visions is to encourage active lifestyles in the town so we supplement car use with other travel modes rather than simply declare war on a specific transport form.”

Latest stats from the Crewe Parkrun – held at Queens Park – show it attracts up to 300 participants every Saturday morning, and has had more than 40,000 runners since the events began.

“From this you can also see which CW5 postcodes attend Crewe Parkrun. So already we can alleviate Saturday traffic on local roads,” added Paul.

“Plus you can see the age groups where people in late teens and 20s attend less since they don’t own/afford cars.

“Then there are added issues like disabled access to the Barony so you can’t do a loop without have to navigate Sandford Avenue.

“With a path, children and adults can learn to ride a bike without fear of traffic.

“Plus even dog walkers or people needing a walk for mental health can walk around the park all year round and keep their feet clean.

“They are revisiting the old toilet block too so you have more content potential there as well. They have talked about making it either a loo again or some kind of servery for refreshments.

“The footfall of a Parkrun would clear its overheads for sure.”

Parkruns are held all over the country and are free, weekly, community events. There are currently more than 1,100 events around the country.

Saturday morning events are 5k and take place in parks and open spaces. On Sunday mornings, there are 2k junior parkruns for children aged four to 14.

They are designed to be “positive, welcoming and inclusive experience” where there is no time limit and no one finishes last.

Town councillors also agreed to support an ANSA bid for grant funding to revamp the skate park on Barony.

Crewe Parkrun - Queens Park - start of parkrun - by Jonathan White
Crewe Parkrun – Queens Park parkrun – pic by Jonathan White

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