The English Cross Country Association has been in discussions throughout the summer months with Mansfield District Council, as there are significant changes soon to happen within Berry Hill Park.
The Park has been awarded a substantial grant from the Government as part of the “levelling up policy”.
Major developments are likely in 2024 which will affect the traditional layout of the course at Berry Hill Park, particularly the “start” and ‘finish” areas. We have asked Mansfield Harriers to redesign the course moving the start and finish areas to a different location which they have done.
Following a survey of the park, the area that we have always used for parking for in excess of 30 years, has now been declared unsuitable for parking, due to the finding of “acid grass” in that location.
Mansfield District Council have informed us that we can no longer park cars in that area of the park, and that most of the parking has to be offsite. Three off site carparks have been identified all within one mile of the park, and a shuttle bus service will be operating on the day of the Championships from each of those car parks. A walking route will also be signed to Berry Hill Park.
In view of the difficulties experienced at the National Championships at Bolesworth Castle earlier this year, we have been very reluctant to leave the parking organisation with third parties, and have impressed on MDC the vital importance of it working efficiently.
When entries are received, Clubs will be given additional instructions on which car park to use, which has been calculated on parking spaces available. If Clubs are bringing a tent then detailed arrangements will also be sent to those Clubs regarding access to the park, and a special permit will be issued.
We need these untested arrangements to work, so Clubs will be asked to urge all athletes to arrive earlier than they have in the past, to ensure that the racing timetable is adhered to, and athletes get to the start line with no stress caused by a late arrival.