Parks team host Oxford Half while defending their turf

The heavy rain continued throughout the morning of the half marathon, and the ground quickly became a mudbath as thousands of runners trampled it.

Dan Winter, Superintendent of the Parks, worked closely with event organisers to enable them to remove vehicles and infrastructure without creating even more serious damage to the paths and grass under his care, activating an action plan that had been created in case this happened. He advised on how to protect the ground and follow the action plan, as well as helping them remove stranded vehicles. Dan’s team continued to provide guidance over the next several days – it ended up taking the event team four days to remove all their equipment, compared to just a day and a half on a more typical year.

The result of this was that serious damage to the ground surface was avoided, and the affected grassy areas are already recovering quickly. If vehicles had been allowed to drive around freely on waterlogged grass immediately after the event, the damage would have been significant and very costly to repair.