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.'
Happy to oblige with drone photos/video of the damage if someone nearby will permit takeoff and landing from their property. Somewhere in the region of Oakfield Road would be suitable but not exclusively from there .
How dangerous was Tough Mudder's electroshock obstacle? The company offers reassurance on their website: "no one has died".
Of course the chances of some electoral shock may be tested in any by-elections.
Can we assume that available videos were studied closely as part of the risk assessment before the contract was agreed?
Councillor Hakata didn't come to yesterday's Friends of Finsbury Park public meeting - he sent his apologies - surprise, surprise. It had been expected that he would speak about the council policy on events.
Neither did any of the 3 Harringay ward councillors whose constituency covers Finsbury Park, sadly. Reports suggest that there were no council meetings yesterday evening.
Friends of Finsbury Park should tell those councillors that it will campaign against them if they stand at the next election. They obviously have no respect for residents.
That's disappointing, esp after I had detailed responses to my emails from both Peray Ahmet and one of the Harringay councillors, which I had felt reassured about.
On the other hand, some restoration appears to be underway.
They would say that given Haringey Council’s approach to letting off large amounts of space to some of the most destructive activities to make money. There is certainly no more need build any more expensive playgrounds and the planned extension to the skate park largely been funded by external sources and voluntary contributions. A big saving would be made if all the highly paid communications and events team were redeployed to useful activities or made redundant. These are not the people we see tending the grounds or picking up litter. Haringey are not disclosing so far how much money is actually needed to run the park I suspect much less than they want us to think.
The mid summer events not only damage the park, create havoc in the area and fence off half of the area available for use they put the attendees at risk of being crushed to death. The promoters Haringey allow to stage these events have form - a quick google search will provide information.
I now don’t think Haringey Council is a fit organisation to run the park anymore - Islington and Hackney residents have no say and local Haringey residents are fobbed off or ignored. Either the City of london or a new strategic body possibly overseen by the Mayor of London needs to take over.
What you say Simon, makes a great deal of sense.
The idea of LBH granting a licence for 5 years to the promoters of the major (50,000+ attendees) events is for the birds, but by then they will be long gone.
When did LBH last conduct an environmental impact assessment for Finsbury Park?
We now know that the Friends of the Park attracted a very large group of angry residents who were deeply shocked about the damage and anxious about the future events in particular a proposed five year contract for mid summer events - with that under their belt the promoters seemingly have permission inflict untold damage with no possibility of sanction.
Inspite of checking Mike Hakata’s availability in advance he did not attend. The meeting set out the issues including input from one contributor who was asked to put the case in favour of music events who was listened to with respect. In the absence of Cllr Hakata, a Haringey ward councillor made a contribution and at one point admitted that prior to the Mudder event no one seemed to be in charge. I’m not aware that any Labour Councillor has actually gone as far as voting against these proposals however. Labour councillors from Hackney and Islington stated they saw their role as having to protect their constituents from the damaging effects of these events - they offered no support for the approach Haringey had taken.
I have attended too many of these meetings over the years but I must say the atmosphere was markedly different this time. The anger was palpable with people prepared to take matters further. For anyone who feels that way I would strongly recommend joining the Friends of the Park (membership is free) so that you can keep informed.https://www.thefriendsoffinsburypark.org.uk/
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