The Forestry Commission’s Forest Runner event will include non-binary as an entrant choice for the first time in their event sign-up this year.
The Includability Committed Employer added a third entrant category, non-binary in their online sign-up forms as a step towards achieving an inclusive and welcoming experience for all at their forests and will continue to learn and improve in this area for future series.
The commission want visitors and participants to feel inspired to be forest runners and feel the forests they maintain are the perfect place to run and this autumn with a series of 5k and 10k events being held in 12 forests across England.
What was the motivation behind the decision?
The commission hopes that by breaking down barriers, that they will see their visitors and Forest Runner participants begin to reflect the richness and diversity of the communities that the forests serve.
Jemma Hulbert, Active Forests Project Manager at the Forestry Commission said, “We believe that our forests are for everyone to enjoy and are always looking for ways to be more inclusive. We want everyone to feel welcome at our Forest Runner events and adding a third gender category is part of this.
“We hope that it will make more people feel welcome in our forests.”
Does The Forestry Commission have further plans for advancing diversity and inclusion?
The commission will continue plans to grow the series of Forest Runner events and ensure that diversity and inclusion remains at the heart of all decisions. Alongside this, their Breeze into the Forest is a women’s-only cycling initiative, developed in collaboration with British Cycling to empower women and boost their confidence cycling in England’s forests, all also part of the commission’s plans.
Hulbert added, “As with Forest Runner, we encourage women of all backgrounds to take part.”
The profits from Forest Runner and other official events help the Forestry Commission grow, shape and care for your local forest, now and for future generations.