Gunnersbury Park Closed As Traveller Row Escalates

Shut until further notice 'in the interests of public safety'

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Gunnersbury Park has been closed to visitors this afternoon (11th June) following the arrival of a group of travellers at the weekend.

A Council spokesman said:“Following the advice of local police, we are closing Gunnersbury Park in the interests of public safety.

“We have not made this decision lightly, and will reopen the park as soon as possible.”

Members of the travelling community set up a site in the park on Sunday evening and Hounslow Council immediately initiated action to remove them.

Park users have been horrified by rubbish that has accumulated near the site.

Tom Jenkins from Ealing - who took the photos said:

'' They obviously drove down the middle road from the car park and across the cricket pitch.

''They left tracks across the pitch and are leaving rubbish strewn across the field and driving their cars and vans in and out through the south east gate, across the footpath and field with little or no concern for the people walking in the park. A school sports day planned for today has been cancelled as a result. Added to this, in little over 24 hours the beautiful bluebell footpath has become a tip for several tons of building waste. This looks like at least 6 truck loads of rubble.''

Maggi Marmion who regularly walks her dogs in Gunnersbury said:

'' It is really bad there- the rubbish piles are getting bigger and unfortunately there is human excrement there too! One of my dogs came back from sniffing around the rubbish covered in it!

''I walked past their 'camp' yesterday with a few fellow dog walkers and a car with two young guys in it came speeding across the field at 30+ miles per hour! I told them to slow down and just got abuse back! They nearly hit one of the little dogs! I must say it is very upsetting to see this destruction they make to our beautiful park.''

The Council served notice on the travellers this morning giving them until 8:00am tomorrow to leave. Should they fail to comply, the notice, says that the group could face a fine of up to £1,000.

A clear up operation will begin immediately if the notice is complied with, otherwise a court order will be obtained to remove them.

June 9, 2014