Even as I gushed almost lyrically about the beauty of our local woodland in my previous post, evil forces conspired to ruin it for me… and for all of us.


There is a public footpath that travels alongside the woods, along with a swath of grass. Last weekend, gypsies cut the padlock and chain on the large gate that the council use to get their mowers in.

Before we knew it, about a dozen caravans had set up camp alongside the woods.

Tatty old Transit vans and pick-up trucks parked on the grass and kids on motorbikes and quad bikes tore through the woods, making it very unpleasant for those of us that used the woods for recreational walking.

Many dogging friends gave up and took their animals elsewhere, whilst a rumour (possibly apocryphal) that the gypsies had held a dog to ransom until it’s owner paid up, forced many others to give the place a wide berth. Not me:  Saber and I continued our walks in the woods… but we did steer clear of where they were camped.

Mercifully, they have now moved on, after just a week, but they left their mess behind them – a small part of which is shown in the pic at the top of this post.

I felt sorry for those houses whose gardens backed on to the grass area where they camped. I heard reports of rubbish and even human faeces being thrown over the fences into their back gardens.

Even though the council have been quick to clear up after them, they’ve left their mark: broken branches and damaged bushes; scorched patches where they’ve had fires; flattened grass and flowers.

And – of a course – a frightened community.

And they wonder why no-one likes them.


  1. Alan

    Even had them on the beach front car park down here 3 years ago. Same result as
    you had.
    And I thought that Gypos was a Greek island.😂

    • Masher

      Nowhere’s safe, Alan.

  2. Dave

    Ah now, you see, you have failed to comprehend that you must respect what they do as this is their traditional lifestyle and are just as entitled to carry on in their anti-social, criminal, tax-dodging, threatening, violent, alcoholic ways as the next man.
    We have Gypos in France. They have a site just outside Limoux, they stay put. I suspect if there is a crime committed within 50 kms of their site they get a visit. Probably from our glorious boys of the local Gendarmerie. Who all carry big automatic weapons that they are quite happy to negotiate with. We don’t have a lot of crime in general for the same reason.
    I worked with someone who thought the only way to deal with members of the travelling fraternity was with flame throwers. An interesting view which I suspect may be shared with those who have recently had them plague their vicinity.

    • Masher

      Flame thrower, eh? I’ll check Amazon.

  3. Rajesh

    The bluebells in the background of the rubbish look lovely. There is always at least one news similar to this. this one is 21 hours ago

    • Masher

      That’s interesting Rajesh. If they have made themselves a permanent camp, then I suppose they are no longer travellers?

  4. Alan

    Reckon a grumpy villager sold them the land.

  5. Jules

    You have *Dogging* friends?

    Bloody pikeys. Disgraceful.

    • Masher

      Of course!

      Apparently, ‘pikey’ is a derogatory term, so let’s stick with ‘Scum’.

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