Climbing trees or picking up stones in certain parts of Rugby could see you slapped with on-the-spot fine

Newbold Quarry. (Photo: WCC)
Newbold Quarry. (Photo: WCC)

Climbing trees or picking up stones in certain parts of Rugby could see people slapped with an on-the-spot fine.

More councils are cracking down on what have been dubbed ‘busybody offences’ with many cracking down on activities such as feeding birds, swearing and napping in public.

Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs) deal with nuisances or problems in particular areas that impact the local community's quality of life.

The PSPOs, which were introduced in 2014, were intended to clamp down on threatening or violent behaviour. But campaigners say they have been drafted too loosely.

A spokesman for Rugby Borough Council said the council pulled people up for climbing trees and picking up stones “to protect and enhance habitats” at Newbold Quarry Nature Reserve.

Offences for which people were fined by other councils included shouting and making noise, loitering, busking, swearing or foul language, feeding birds and rough sleeping or sleeping in a vehicle.

The findings have been revealed by the Manifesto Club, which campaigns for freedom in public spaces and civic life.

Rugby man Nigel Jones, who runs a Facebook community page, said the rules need to be relaxed.

He said: “I nearly spat out my tea when I heard what people were being fined for.

"It’s crazy to think that a child could face a fine for doing what children do. Climbing trees and throwing stones into a pool of water.”

He added: “The world has gone mad.”