Traveller fears over unprotected park on Walsall and Wolverhampton border

Fears have been raised that a council may have left it too late to protect a Willenhall park from more illegal traveller incursions.

Soil bunding has been put down on the Walsall side of Coppice Farm in Willenhall to stop travellers driving onto the site. PIC: Adam Hicken
Soil bunding has been put down on the Walsall side of Coppice Farm in Willenhall to stop travellers driving onto the site. PIC: Adam Hicken

Wolverhampton Council confirmed security measures will finally be installed on their side of Coppice Farm – which crosses over the boundary and into Walsall – in the spring.

This follows Walsall Council’s decision to install soil banks on its side of the area back in October, designed to stop vehicles getting onto the green space.

But Willenhall North councillor Adam Hicken said residents in the area are concerned Wolverhampton may have left it too late to stop issues the area experienced last year.

In July last year, Coppice Farm was one of a number of sites across Walsall hit by unauthorised encampments.

Around 15 vans drove onto the land from the Walsall side before eventually settling on the Wolverhampton part of the park.

Councillor Hicken said: “Walsall Council began work in the autumn to improve defences at Coppice Farm, with concerns being raised at the lack of planning from Wolverhampton Council to secure their land.

“Now residents are fearful that nothing will be done in time, giving vehicles the option of simply going around the new defences that Walsall has installed.

Hoping

“We were hoping that Wolverhampton Council would have a joined-up approach to the protective measures that we have put into place in Walsall.

“But by the autumn it was clear that nothing would be happening on their side of the border.

“Walsall has pressed ahead with its measures and put in place some measures to try and act as a deterrent.

“Thankfully, those appear to have worked for the remainder of last year, but with spring approaching we fear that we will see more unauthorised encampments”.

A spokesman for Wolverhampton Council said: “An order has been placed with contractors to carry out work to secure the Wolverhampton boundary of this open space from unauthorised usage.

“They will be installing timber posts, fencing, bollards and repairing chain link fencing.

“The work is due to take place in early spring and we thank residents for their patience and understanding during this challenging time.”

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