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Harringay, Haringey - So Good they Spelt it Twice!

The Tough Mudder event, which is  taking place in Finsbury Park this weekend, consists of  running routes and assault course challenges spread over many areas of the park. From the pictures, the aim seems to be to get as mud-covered as possible. Tickets cost £100.

While it's great that people use the parks for exercise and relaxation, a large number of people running together on already soggy ground is going to cause serious damage to the grass and woodland of the park, just as it's coming into it's most beautiful season. The muddy fallout from a similar event on Hampstead Heath last year took many months to recover, and our park is significantly smaller.

It breaks my heart how little the council prizes our natural green spaces and is willing to sacrifice them in this way in order to make money, even under the aegis of 'health and wellbeing.'

Tags for Forum Posts: finsbury park , mudder", tough

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I did see ambulances available.

There is an article in today's online Evening Standard  "Destruction of Finsbury Park after Tough Mudder a ‘disgrace’, says David Lammy"  I wonder if Catherine West will say anything.


During my walk round the park this morning I took 100+ pictures of what I consider to be damage to the ground.  I wonder if I can get them all in one Fixmystreet posting or will I have to do it 100+ times? 

Anyway the damage which most annoyed me was near the north side path which leads up the hill from Green Lanes to the running track.  Here the runners had been funnelled through bushes - see the photos.  This completely ignored the possibility that there might be birds nesting.

In one side and out the other:

That cut through and the decision to route people over fallen trees are the two things that annoy me most, with or without mud. The fallen trees were left as habitat for invertebrates, not as cheap obstacles for Tough Mudder and the cut through is near an area where stag beetles have been seen.There were also nuthatches nesting in the trees around there. Just so stupidly thoughtless!

Your photos Konrad and dozens and dozens more posted by local residents helped to achieve the desired outcome. Finsbury Park will not be assaulted again by Tough Mudder.

An excellent example of successful collaborative team effort to pile on the publicity misery and change the minds of Haringey's councillors. As Kermit the frog sang: "It's not easy bein' green". At the same time as being forced to backfill budget cuts by renting out parks and otherwise selling off and renting public land

To be fair, on its website the company Tough Mudder made no secret of their plans to offer a tougher muddier assault course.

People don't like elector shock therapy? Then don't stand for the Council.

Tough Mudder damage to Finsbury Park has now gone national: ITV ran a report [link], also now reported by The Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily MirrorDaily Express as well as earlier reports in the Evening Standard and the Daily Mail.  Haringey's name is mud, then. Officially.

Tough Mudder: 20+ minutes coverage today on BBC Radio London. Interview of Mike Hakata by Eddie Nestor from 01.36 to 01.50, preceded by an interview of Beth Anderson from of Friends of Finsbury Park from 00.25 to 00.33. Available until mid-May [link]. Mr Nestor did not hold back - "You've messed up here, haven't you?" is how it started.

The course map below shows how completely the whole of the park has been (ab)used - a far larger area than Wireless, even.

That's good, because the ITV news item last night was trailed with "Haringey council has had to step in, after an event in Finsbury Park caused damage etc etc" which mistrepresented the situation completely, I thought!

What gets me is that anyone walking in the park last week, seeing the ground so sodden after weeks of rain, could absolutely have predicted this outcome - where were the park-keepers or other official custodians of the space who could have advised against running it. Or was there, perhaps, no 'get-out' clause in the contract?

What gets me, looking at the TM 2023 events listing, is that this one is the first of the year (think over-wintered ground), and one of only two in public parks (the other is Heaton Park in Manchester in July, likely better ground conditions and six times the size of Finsbury Park so a smaller proportion likely to be affected). All the others are at private estates.

Konrad, thanks for highlighting those 'diversions'.

Beth Anderson's comments in the post currently below this one also tell the tale.

Now also in the Guardian, with an article by Tom Graham, co-chair of the Friends of Finsbury Park:




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