County councillor condemns travellers pitching up at Nottinghamshire country parks

Coun Peck, who represents the Sherwood Forest Division on Nottinghamshire County Council,has dealt with a number ofcalls from concerned residents when travellers camped at Vicar Water Country Park.
Coun Peck, who represents the Sherwood Forest Division on Nottinghamshire County Council,has dealt with a number ofcalls from concerned residents when travellers camped at Vicar Water Country Park.

Nottinghamshire County councillor John Peck spoke of his annoyance at the disruption caused by a group of travellers who pitched up at three country parks in the area.

Coun Peck, who represents the Sherwood Forest Division on Nottinghamshire County Council, has dealt with a number of calls from concerned residents when travellers camped at Vicar Water Country Park.

He said that the encampment affected the business of nearby Rumbles cafe.

He added that the travellers then moved on to Rufford country park before arriving at the Sherwood Forest Country Park car park yesterday (December 7).

In each case, the councils had to go through the procedure of obtaining court orders and employing bailiffs.

During the time they were in the area, car parks were closed, causing disruption to visitors and businesses.

Coun Peck said: “It appears to have been the same group of travellers who have pitched up in all three country parks although in the case of Sherwood Forest country park, prompt action by RSPB and the county council got them moved on without staying overnight.

"It still meant the car park had to be closed all day.

"It’s unacceptable because there are legal traveller sites, but when travellers move on to public spaces, there is always great expense to councils in obtaining court orders, employing bailiffs and often cleaning up afterwards, not to mention the nuisance to local residents.

"I think it’s time there was much stronger legislation to make it a criminal offence for anyone to camp on a public amenity without permission and for eviction to be carried out

immediately without having to go through expensive court procedures which can take several days.”