Residents dig trenches around playing field to prevent return of travellers who left 'horrible mess' including 'human waste'

PUBLISHED: 09:47 08 October 2019 | UPDATED: 10:27 08 October 2019

Residents of Swaffham Bulbeck took matters into their own hands and dug trenches around the village playing field to prevent travellers – who made it their home for a week - from returning to the green. Picture: BEN JOLLEY.

Residents of Swaffham Bulbeck took matters into their own hands and dug trenches around the village playing field to prevent travellers - who made it their home for a week - from returning to the green. Picture: BEN JOLLEY.

Archant

Residents helped to dig trenches around a village playing field to stop the return of travellers.

Residents of Swaffham Bulbeck took matters into their own hands and dug trenches around the village playing field to prevent travellers – who made it their home for a week - from returning to the green. Picture: BEN JOLLEY.

Residents of Swaffham Bulbeck took matters into their own hands and dug trenches around the village playing field to prevent travellers – who made it their home for a week - from returning to the green. Picture: BEN JOLLEY.

It follows incidents when Swaffham Bulbeck faced a "horrible mess" including "human waste behind the cricket pavilion" after travellers twice descended on the village.

After seven caravans and vans pitched up on The Denny playing field on September 7 - with another two arriving later that week - the parish council decided to dig deep ditches around the children's playground.

Villagers enlisted the help of a builder from Swaffham Prior who used a dozen three foot thick tree trunks to block off the green via both car parks as well as mounds of soil to fill the trenches.

Marilyn Butler, who has lived in the village for 42 years, said: "In all the years we've lived here, we'd never had a problem like this.

Residents of Swaffham Bulbeck took matters into their own hands and dug trenches around the village playing field to prevent travellers – who made it their home for a week - from returning to the green. Picture: BEN JOLLEY.

Residents of Swaffham Bulbeck took matters into their own hands and dug trenches around the village playing field to prevent travellers – who made it their home for a week - from returning to the green. Picture: BEN JOLLEY.

"Seven caravans arrived at first and we didn't think too much of it. But then they went away and brought two more caravans back to the green.

"That's when things started to go wrong and the mess - including human waste - began to pile up. They would defecate all over the place and just didn't seem to want to go.

Her husband David, said: "It was quite a shock and it really upset everybody because they took up so much space with their caravans and cars.

"They were there for the best part of a week and then disappeared - but they came back again with two more caravans. We reported it to the police and they came out and had a word with them but there was nothing they could do legally.

"There's a car park at either end and they have both been blocked up by these huge tree trunks. It's all really horrible and unsightly."

Parish clerk Diane Bayliss said that getting two eviction notices cost the parish £2,600.

One resident who didn't want to be named added: "They just left this incredibly unpleasant mess.

"One of the schools even had to cancel an event that they were going to hold at the Denny because of strict child protection issues.

"Children haven't been able to use the swings and dog walkers say they have felt intimated."

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the Ely Standard

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists