Residents of Redcar after locals got angry at a group of traveling families setting up camp at a popular walking spot. Council officers visited the group of around 20 vehicles, horse boxes and camper vans when they began arriving on The Stray.
The Stray in North Yorkshire is council-owned land, camp arrived earlier this week. Locals spotted garden furniture, washing lines and a number of horses hitched up by the side of the road.
Redcar and Cleveland Council say they are “aware of the situation” and “the matter is ongoing”. People are believed to be passing through town on their way to a horse fair, which will take place next month.
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A spokesperson said: “The site was visited by one of our officers and we are following our procedures and protocols for encampments.” However, some residents said they felt “uncomfortable” on the walk, with one woman claiming to have been bitten by one of the family dogs.
The woman posted on social media, offering a ‘word of warning’ that she had been attacked while running. She posted, “Careful if you’re out there.”
One woman told Teesside Live: “It means I can’t walk on The Stray like I used to, they have parked vehicles right next to The Stray paths on the promenade so if you want to get out of the prom – and you don’t want to feel uncomfortable walking in the camp, you need to walk to the end.
“There’s a vehicle just behind the Stray Cafe on that bit of gravel road, so you have to walk right by that vehicle and their dog shack. I wouldn’t walk in the middle. I wouldn’t I don’t want to be that close to the horses that are tethered either.”
“Council told me an enforcement officer visited the site,” she added, “so I assume an eviction notice will have been served.” Another man posted on Facebook: “You have to be careful with their dogs because they are not particularly friendly, and [it’s] not the best for coffee.”
Others called the complainants “critical” and said they should “live and let live”. “They’re not hurting anyone,” wrote one man, “just passing through.”
“To be honest, I don’t see the problem,” said another, “The Stray is a free public space and I bet they are nice people, you shouldn’t judge because their way of life is different from the others. .”
Appleby Horse Fair sees thousands of visitors from across the UK arrive in the town for the annual celebration, including the traveling community. Organizers have moved this year’s event to June 9-15 to accommodate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. The fair usually takes place the first weekend of June.
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