RUNNERS will once again descend on the county's parks and open spaces as parkrun returns following the relaxation of Covid restrictions.

The free, weekly 5k runs will return to locations such as Ambleside and Ulverston.

"For me, parkrun is a community of people who come together to be mutually supportive, to celebrate life together," said Eileen Jones, who is on the core volunteering team at Fell Foot parkrun at Newby Bridge.

"It's much more than just running round a park.

"It's for people who are lonely, isolated, maybe depressed, people who live on their own."

Mrs Jones said volunteers would be scanning barcodes - used to record runners' times - using apps on individual mobile phones rather than the traditional scanners on Saturday.

Another Cumbrian parkrun – at Ulverston's Ford Park – was given the go-ahead only this week after a new route was sketched-out amid uncertainty over the path runners would take.

“For us, it’s not just about the running,” said Helen Rann, co-events director for the run.

“It’s more about the sense of community.

“There’s so many people that I have missed seeing, so many people that we see every week and they see us and we know them by name.

“It really is a proper community event.”

The return of parkrun to Ulverston this Saturday was only confirmed on Tuesday following issues with securing a route.

Miss Rann said Ladies Walk – along which the old route travelled – had degraded.

Organisers of the Ford Park event have therefore been seeking permission from Parkrun bosses to follow a different route out of the wheelchair gate near the hospice at the top of the park.

However, said Miss Rann, a stretch of the desired route along Ford Park Crescent was proving to be a stumbling block.

However, an alternative route – entirely within Ford Park – has now been decided upon.

Ford parkun participants will be seeded according to speed.

Parkruns begin at 9am. Visit ‘Ford parkrun’ and 'Fell Foot parkrun' on Facebook for more information, including about volunteering.