On Saturday 7th November, Fields in Trust teamed up with parkrun to co-host a FIT parkrun at Dunorlan Park, Royal Tunbridge Wells. The event celebrated the protection of Dunorlan’s memorial ground, the Victoria Cross Grove, and its dedication as a Centenary Field.
Despite the blustery day and muddy track, 139 people turned up to run. Terry Housden of Fields in Trust spoke to the runners at the start about the Centenary Fields programme and the work that Fields in Trust does. Centenary Fields badges were handed out to all the runners, including the four Fields in Trust staff who ran. Medals were also given to the parkrun volunteers who get up early every Saturday morning to make sure the parkrun goes ahead.
Following the run, we walked over to the Victoria Cross Grove for the Centenary Fields Dedication Ceremony. The Deputy Mayor David Neve announced the Grove officially protected and Greg Clark, local MP and Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, said some words about the importance of protecting the site to honour those who had lost their lives in World War I. Nick Green of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and Diana Lamb, Chair of the Friends of Dunorlan Park, also came to celebrate the ground’s protection.
Fields in Trust is delighted that the Victoria Cross Grove is now a Centenary Field and will provide generations to come with a place to play and reflect. We are very grateful to parkrun, Tunbridge Wells parkrun, Tunbridge Wells Borough Council and the Royal British Legion for helping us with such a successful, fun and muddy event!
About parkrun: parkrun organise weekly 5km runs all over the world in over 370 locations. They are open to everyone and it’s free to take part. Simply find a run near you and register to get involved. www.parkrun.org.uk/register. 18 parkrun venues are protected with Fields in Trust, including Mile End Park in London, Melton Country Park in Leicestershire and Whitby Park in Cheshire. This means that these parkruns will never be threatened by any closure or building development and the parks will always remain open to the public.