Piles of litter and 'biological human waste' left in Weelsby Woods after travellers leave

-Credit: (Image: Friends of Weelsby Woods)
-Credit: (Image: Friends of Weelsby Woods)


A group of travellers who set up camp in Weelsby Woods have vacated the area after a court summons was issued - allegedly leaving piles of rubbish and fly-tipping including "biological human waste" behind.

A fortnight ago, travellers arrived at the Grimsby park in 14 caravans, as well as cars and vans, and drove through the park before setting up camp in the area known as the Witches' Circle.

Officers from North East Lincolnshire Council subsequently visited the site and asked the group to leave within 24 hours, a request that was not adhered to. A Notice of Direction was also issued to ask the group to leave the area, which was also not adhered to.

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As a result, Council officers acquired a court summons which ordered the group of travellers to vacate Weelsby Woods.

They are thought to have left the park at around 4.30pm on Sunday (July 7), but left numerous piles of household rubbish, furniture and tree cuttings behind. A spokesperson for the Friends of Weelsby Woods community group also confirmed that "biological human waste" was also disposed of in the area around the Witches' Circle.

Piles of litter were scattered throughout the park - Council workers have attended the site to carry out a clean-up operation -Credit:Friends of Weelsby Woods
Piles of litter were scattered throughout the park - Council workers have attended the site to carry out a clean-up operation -Credit:Friends of Weelsby Woods

In a statement posted to Facebook, a spokesperson for the group said: "We have been to look at the park, it is upsetting to see the park like this, and the urge to litter pick is very strong, but NELC instructed us to leave everything for them to clear, due to the human biological waste, and risk to our health."

A follow-up post reads: "Friends of Weelsby Woods strongly decry both the wanton damage caused and the vast amount of unnecessary rubbish left behind after the recent travellers have left the woods.

"We ask that the initial cleanup be left to [North East Lincolnshire Council] for safety and evidentiary purposes and ask that anyone who wants to help, join our litter pick on Saturday 10 til 12.

"Friends of Weelsby Woods will be engaged in talks with relevant agencies in the coming days to develop a community led strategy to prevent or minimise the impact of this happening in the future. Please continue to safely enjoy the woods and thank you for your ongoing support."

Muddy tracks were also left in the field -Credit:Friends of Weelsby Woods
Muddy tracks were also left in the field -Credit:Friends of Weelsby Woods

A Council spokesperson said: “North East Lincolnshire Council can confirm the travellers previously encamped on land at Weelsby Woods have now vacated the area.

“The group of 14 caravans were deemed to be occupying an area of land classed as being a Tier One location. As has been reported, land owned by the Council is now classed as Tier One or Tier Two when it comes to action taken against those who occupy it, such as members of the travelling community.

“Tier One land can be areas such as recreational grounds, public fields or hospital grounds and are locations where travelling communities will have an impact on the community in terms of quality of life and anti-social behaviour. As such, encampments on this land require the group to vacate within 24 hours of being notified by officers.

Nappies and human waste were also left behind -Credit:Friends of Weelsby Woods
Nappies and human waste were also left behind -Credit:Friends of Weelsby Woods

“In this instance, the group did not leave within the allotted time and a Notice of Direction was issued to ask for them to leave the area. However, this was also not adhered to, leading to officers acquiring a summons from the court ordering the group to vacate Weelsby Woods. All of this was carried out as soon as possible to ensure the matter was resolved at the earliest opportunity.

“Following the summons, the travellers left the site and our operational cleaning teams will now be working to remove litter and repair any damage to the land at the earliest opportunity.”

A litter-pick will take place at Weelsby Woods on Saturday, July 13 from 10am to 12pm.