Villagers form human barricade to block Travellers trespassing local playing field

Villagers form human barricade to block Travellers trespassing local playing field

A SLEEPY village in Essex was called into action this week after a group of Travellers tried to set up a camp on their local playing fields.

Residents from Weeley, Essex were attending a local parish meeting when County Councillor for the area Andy Erskine raised the alarm.

Speaking to the Chelmsford Weekly the UKIP Councillor described the scene: “They laughed, thinking it was a joke, but then I said I was being serious and they ran out.

“There were members of the Parish and Tendring Council laid on the ground in front of the vehicles.”

When the councilors descended on the scene there had been one truck and one caravan already on the field.

Another councilor, Mike Brown, laid down in front of one of the Traveller's car for twenty minutes as the stand off got increasingly fragile.

He said: “There was already a caravan and a truck on the field and a car and another caravan trying to get through the gate.

“Two of us stood in front of the car. It was pushing us, so I laid down on the floor. I thought they will have to damage me to get in."

The police were called, who convinced the Travellers to eventually move on from the field. The landowners and farmers were alerted in the aftermath, where which the farmers locked up the gates of the playing field.

The council and residents tried to block Travellers from entering the field after an illegal camp was set up two years ago. The Parish council was left with a major clean up operation with the Sun reporting that the council spent £2,000 on a gate to try block Travellers coming into the area.

Mr Brown explained the damage that had been caused in the aftermath the last time.

"Over the years myself and the tree wardens have planted probably 40 trees there and half were damaged which was a damn nuisance.

"The Scout hut couldn't operate because of human faeces. They left rubbish at the Spinney and toilet paper everywhere. It cost a lot of money to sort it out."

A spokesperson for Essex Police told The Irish Post the situation had been dealt with and the Travellers had left the area.

The statement read: “Police were contacted at around 7.30pm on Monday, July 18 following reports of a disturbance between a group of Travellers and residents in Clacton Road in Weeley. Officers attended and engaged with both parties. The Travellers have now left the location.”