Travellers set up camp on Cambridge nature reserve
Travellers have made camp with 10 caravans on a nature reserve leaving rangers fearing for the safety of the ground nesting birds and wildlife on the site.
The group drove onto the field at the Wildlife Trust nature reserve at Trumpington Meadows on Saturday where skylarks are nesting amongst the grass.
Now the Wildlife Trust are hoping an injunction can be brought to move on the travellers before more wildlife is hurt.
Caroline Fitton, spokesperson for the Wildlife Trust, said: “The travellers have accessd the wildflower meadow through Charger Road and although the police were called they couldn’t take any action because this is classed as civilian trespass.
“The travellers are now camped with ten caravans and ten vehicles to tow them in our conservation area on a wildflower meadow where there are nests of skylarks and other ground nesting birds. I have no idea at the moment what damage has been done yet because the rangers have not been able to get close.
“I have huge concerns for the wildlife. This has happened before and we will have to look at future preventative measures with the landowners.
“Last time it took three weeks to move them on. We are hoping it will be a much speedier conclusion because we are deeply concerned the wildflower meadow is going to be completely ruined and I have heard that they have been riding around on quad bikes, which I can't confirm. But just the number of cars and caravans and the amount of people there will do a fair amount of damage. The wildlife is clearly our chief concern as nests with eggs and chicks will have been lost.”
A Trumpington resident, who witnessed the arrival of the travellers, said: “They came on Saturday and quite a few people tried to challenge them but no one could stop them. One even kept nudging me with their SUV car because I was standing in front of them. It was very threatening. Afterwards I had a severe anxiety attack.
“It was very disappointing that the police came but after checking for a long time if the previous injunction was still valid, they said they had no legal powers to stop them.
“They came in through a public footpath that wasn’t barred off properly and in the end the police let them through because they said they had no powers to stop them and then more and more came.
“They have been riding quad bikes around the meadow. The damage they are doing is awful - the flowers were at their best ever this year. The cheek of it!”
Property developer Grosvenor, which owns the land, said: “We’ve been aware of the situation since the weekend and are putting matters in hand to resolve it immediately.”