Villagers and trevellers making peace in Tyttenhanger

Scenes from the barbecue at Barley Mow site

Scenes from the barbecue at Barley Mow site - Credit: Archant

A NEW spirit of integration is building between villagers and travellers who have been at loggerheads over a country lane for years.

Residents of Barley Mow Lane in Tyttenhanger had pushed for their road to be gated off to through traffic because of the problems they had suffered from fly-tipping, speeding and intimidating behaviour.

But after years of inaction, the county council finally decided not to go ahead with the road closure scheme in the face of opposition from travellers who argued that they would be unable to move mobile homes on and off the Barley Mow site

Refusing to endorse a gating order – which even the police had recommended – the county council suggested that integration rather than segregation would be a better way forward.

So to mark Gypsy and Traveller History Month and the opening of a new play area at the Barley Mow site, the county council’s gypsy section team organised a barbecue and invited local residents to attend.

Lynn Myland, who set up the Barley Mow Safety Forum with her husband Martin in a bid to resolve the repeated problems along the lane, said the idea had come from the forum and was taken up by the new head of the gypsy section Charlie Sherfield and his team who had set it up and went along on the day.

She went on: “I borrowed my nephew’s daughter and friends from the village went along with their grandchildren and it was a good turnout from the village, councillors and children.

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“It was a shame more travellers didn’t attend but I would like to encourage the parish council and the village to reciprocate and do something in their turn. Now we have started it would be good to keep it going.”

Lynn went on: “We are trying and certainly the team at the gypsy section are trying. Charlie is trying hard to liaise with the settled and traveller community. He is very much a hands-on gentleman and he was there and did the barbecue.”

Among those who attended was St Albans MP Anne Main, and district councillors Dreda Gordon, Chris Brazier and Jamie Day. St Albans Fire Brigade also brought a fire engine along to the barbecue for the children to enjoy.