Sunday, 4 June 2017

Travellers trash Selsley Common

Travellers have parked up on Selsly Common in Stroud, Gloucestershire. They've been there a few days now, we saw them yesterday. (Saturday, 3rd June) When we first arrived we saw the huge collection of caravans parked in the centre of the common and my first thought was the damage they were doing to the grass and wildlife. Then a car drove onto the common in front of us and threw some fast food trash out the window. I quickly took the above and below photos just after.
The car stopped at the make shift camp sight and some children got out of the car and shouted obscenities at us. The oldest couldn't have been much more than 9 years old. I was shocked to say the least. We decided to try and avoid the camp sight as much as possible .
We love walking our little dog Snapper up on Selsley Common, as do many dog walkers and walkers in general. It's a lovely and beautiful common with amazing views. It's also a delicate eco system with nesting Skylarks in the long grass. Cattle also spend some time up there occasionally.

We talked to several people who were also up there to enjoy the common who were appalled at what was happening up there. We heard tells of a trash heap that the travellers had left and was blowing around. We didn't see this trash pile, but we weren't looking for it either. We saw plenty of trash blowing about in the grass which was awful to see. We saw some bits we were afraid to take a closer look at. Truly disgusting.
One lady told us of a car that was driving all over the common without a care of the nesting birds in the grass and she bravely stood in front of the car to stop it. She said a young lady was driving and when she told her of the nesting birds she was driving over she seemed to apologise and went back to the group camp.
These photos of the blue van driving around up on the common are photos I took on Saturday, not of the car the lady saw and stopped. So they are still driving around up there, without a care to the local wildlife or damage to the eco system. And if you look in the grass in the photos you can see trash scattered about.
Also they were driving around quite fast, without caring about people or dogs walking around.

We talked to many people who were up there when were were on Saturday and they all talked about the trash and damage they were doing to the land and how rude they were. One of their biggest concerns was human waste left on the common. This could cause the common to be cordoned off and closed to the public because of human waste contamination.
When we got home I posted about it on social media and heard from a few more people about it. People have reported them to the police and they know about them. I read that the police had talked to them and told them they had to be gone by 10am this morning (Sunday). And that they, the travellers, agreed to this. Link to local newspaper article:
In photo above, someone I know looked up the licence plate number of the van, and found that it has been untaxed since 31st of March.

I can tell you that I've heard several reports from eye witnesses this morning that they were still there after 10am and showed no signs of leaving anytime soon. It's now noon, the current time at time of this writing.

Another local news article:
I innocently thought they'd be gone by 10am and suggested going for a walk up there, and taking some garbage bags with us. I was quickly told by several people that they won't likely be gone and it's not a good idea to be around them. So we didn't go up there for a walk this morning. Since we found out they didn't leave I'm glad we didn't go. They scare me. I didn't like obscenities been thrown at me by their young children, so I sure didn't want to meet any of their adults.
When I've heard they've gone, I still may go for a walk up there with a garbage bag. I hate thinking about the birds nesting in all that trash and I hate thinking about it blowing around. And the sooner it's picked up the sooner we can enjoy our walks up there again.

These people have a bad reputation, and I now see why. I have always tried to give them the benefit of doubt when other's talk badly about them. And I won't paint all travellers with the same broad brush, but this particular group have definitely earned their bad reputation. Shame on them.

UPDATE 1: The people camped out on Selsley common did eventually move on Sunday afternoon. I do not know what happened as I was not there.

UPDATE 2: They left a huge mess: Local paper:

UPDATE 3: Another local paper:

NOTE: I may update this post if I learn anything new. I'll add updates to the bottom.


  1. Dread to think how many nests have been destroyed or abandoned beside the damage to plant life x