Travellers ordered to leave Wheathampstead playing field

PUBLISHED: 10:13 26 June 2018 | UPDATED: 10:17 26 June 2018

The travellers on the Wheathampstead playing field. Picture: Sarah Myers

The travellers on the Wheathampstead playing field. Picture: Sarah Myers


Residents have reacted with concern after travellers pitched up on a Wheathampstead playing field.

The travellers on the Wheathampstead playing field. Picture: Sarah MyersThe travellers on the Wheathampstead playing field. Picture: Sarah Myers

About 20 caravans, 4x4s and other vehicles parked on a field south of Old School Drive on Friday, June 22.

Sarah Myers – whose home overlooks the field – told the Herts Ad that since the travellers broke in, police had been out to check on them and there had also been a visit from a representative of St Albans district council.

“It’s been quite noisy, and there’s nowhere for them to put their rubbish or litter,” she said.

“It’s a nice playing field. People walk their dogs here and children play there.”

Christine Field, who lives in Butterfield Road next to Old School Drive, said: “I look after the field for the parish council - it’s right outside my back gate. There’s fly-tipping and human excrement. I can’t take the dog out because it’s all over the path.

“They used bolt cutters to get in. They’re just absolutely causing havoc.”

A spokeswoman for Herts Police said: “Officers have attended the scene and will continue to do so to make regular checks at the site. They have also been liaising with local residents.”

The field is used for games by Wheathampstead Wanderers FC, but goals were removed at the end of the football season.

A Herts county council spokesperson said: “We were alerted to a traveller encampment off Old School Drive in Wheathampstead on Saturday June 23. Officers attended the site immediately and carried out a welfare assessment to determine if there was any reason why the travellers could not be moved on.

“Following this assessment, we issued a direction to leave within 24 hours which has not been adhered to. We attended again this morning and have now served a summons which will go through the court process this Wednesday. We are working closely with local police to monitor the situation.”

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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