Here’s why locals aren’t happy about the state of Finsbury Park
Ever wanted to take part in a Tough Mudder, the race where you squelch your way through an assault course and a 10k run, drenched in mud, for fun? We’re not all that sure if we fancy it, but each to their own.
The notoriously messy event took place at Finsbury Park this weekend, but locals aren’t happy about the state the park has been left in. Vast patches of grass were left churned up and covered in sloppy mud, which the Friends of Finsbury Park charity said has left the green space ‘unusable for a good while’.
The volunteer-run group took to Twitter to say it was ‘devastated’ by the effects the event had on the park. ‘The damage is considerable, covers most of the park and will make lots of the park unusable for a good while,’ it tweeted.
David Lammy, Labour MP for Tottenham, said he was ‘appalled’ and called the destruction of the park an ‘environmental disgrace’.
‘I have nothing against @Toughmudder but Finsbury Park is an inner city urban park and the damage done is an environmental disgrace,’ he wrote on Twitter. ‘There are serious questions about how and why this licence was granted, enforced and policed.’
Other Twitter users called the destruction of a public park ‘outrageous’ and an ‘absolute disgrace’. Some residents said it was ‘extremely depressing’ and a ‘disaster’. Eek.
Councillor Mike Hakata, deputy leader of Haringey Council and cabinet member for Climate Action, Environment and Transport, said in a statement:
‘I was upset to see the scale of damage that has been caused to grass areas across the site. We have seen considerable rainfall over recent weeks which has saturated the ground and will need repair. This will be rectified as soon as possible, and any cost will be covered by the event organisers.
‘Tough Mudder events have taken place successfully for four years now, enabling thousands of people young and old to enjoy the outdoors and improve their health and wellbeing, at the same time as raising significant funds for charitable causes.
‘The impact of the event this year has caused several weeks’ worth of damage the park and as a result we have had to rethink our approach. To prevent the risk of this repeating, we have decided that this event will not be held in Finsbury Park going forward.’
Tough Mudder said in a statement: ‘Tough Mudder prides itself on working in tandem with all its venues, local authorities and key stakeholders and has been in close communication with Haringey Council for the entire process and throughout the event at Finsbury Park.
‘Together, we recognise the damage to the park and the impact it has had on the surrounding community. We are working with all relevant stakeholders to restore and repair the damaged areas of the park.’
Friends of Finsbury Park is holding a meeting about ‘events and misuse of the park’ at 7.30pm on April 25 at Muslim Welfare House in Seven Sisters Road.