Over the summer, Walsall was subjected to frequent unauthorised encampments by several groups of travellers. Coppice Farm was one of a number of sites across the Walsall borough that saw incursions which prompted concerns from residents and councillors.
To help prevent these repeated incursions, soil bunds have now been extended around Coppice Farm.
Councillor Adam Hicken said: "We have raced to get these defences in to try and stop further encampments from happening. The bunding will make it harder to tow vehicles onto the park and once the grass grows over, they will blend in with the existing features of the park. Hopefully, these measures will keep our park protected and enable local people to continue to use the park".
“We have seen an increase in people using it for walks and to increase their fitness during the pandemic and that is really great to see. Any time that an encampment appears on one of our parks, it disrupts people in more ways than you may first think. As we move forward we want to make our parks cleaner and greener, so we will continue looking at ways to make them more enjoyable".
Councillor Oliver Butler, portfolio holder for clean and green at Walsall Council, said: “It is great we have been able to quickly respond to local residents concerns about the menace of these unwanted, unwelcome and undesirable traveller incursions. By extending the soil bunds we have increased the scope and extent of the physical defences around Coppice Farm in order to deter any further unwanted incursions, of the like we experienced during the summer. I would also like thank Councillor Hicken and local campaigner Stacie Elson, along with residents who brought this matter to my attention. I hope they will be pleased that Clean and Green has listened to and acted swiftly upon their very real and legitimate concerns regarding travellers.
I am sure local residents will feel much more reassured, now these measures are in place and will sleep more easily at night now.”