Travellers who were ordered off the ‘Queen’s front garden’ have broken into a park less than a mile from Windsor racecourse – as police handed the group Covid tests and ‘welfare checks’ but didn’t try to move them.
Officers said the damage amounted to ‘only a few padlocks broken’ today after the group were told to clear out of the Long Walk at Windsor Castle on Tuesday.
Travellers parked up to 30 caravans and motorhomes just a stones throw away from the Queen’s favourite castle yesterday – before police and officials launched a concerted attempt to shift the uninvited neighbours.
But shortly after Thames Valley Police cleared the area, the group smashed open a padlocked gate and moved into Dedworth Manor.
Today, four officers were seen going from caravan to caravan offering Covid 19 test kits and informing travellers where the nearest hospital is.
They made no attempt to move the group, with one officer saying they are only there to ‘carry out welfare checks’.
The travellers’ dispersal from the iconic castle grounds comes as another traveller group who took over an affluent west London park voluntarily left hours before an eviction notice could be served forcing them to leave.
The 12 caravans and cars that had first pitched up on Kew Green on Thursday – angering nearby neighbours living in £2million homes – finally left last night.
Travellers who were ordered off the ‘Queen’s front garden’ have broken into a park less than two miles from Windsor racecourse (pictured) – as police handed the group Covid tests and ‘welfare checks’ but didn’t try to move them
Officers (some pictured at the new site) said the damage amounted to ‘only a few padlocks broken’ today after the group were told to clear out of the Long Walk at Windsor Castle on Tuesday
YESTERDAY vs TODAY: Travellers have decamped from the Long Walk at Windsor Castle overnight after dozens of police and royal officials convinced them to leave the ‘Queen’s front garden’
A group of travellers – including children – were seen posing for photographers at the Windsor camp yesterday
‘Code of conduct’ notices issued to travellers by police
Unauthorised Encampments Code of Conduct
To ensure members of the settled and travelling communities or others who may live a nomadic lifestyle can live together in a peaceful and unprejudiced way, we expect you to comply with this Code of Conduct. We expect you to treat the land you have occupied with respect and that you respect the rights and freedoms of other people who also wish to use the area. Behaviour that may result in your eviction from this site includes the following:
- Camping upon any land designated as a public amenity, such as parks, recreation areas, school fields and similar locations. (Note this is not an exhaustive list)
- Interfering with the rights and freedoms of other members of the public, including interrupting the operation of legitimate businesses.
- Forcing entry to land, by causing damage to any fixtures, fitting or landscaping, including planted areas. This includes digging away of earthwork defences, which have been placed at landowner’s expense, to prevent trespass.
- Causing any other damage to the land itself, or property on it. Particular care should be taken not to cause damage to those features provided as public amenities.
- Driving vehicles along any footpath, or highway not specifically designed for road vehicles. This practice is not only unlawful but is highly dangerous.
- Parking vehicles or caravans on any road, footpath or other highway that causes an obstruction to other people wanting to pass by. This includes parking immediately next to footpaths.
- Dumping or tipping rubbish, waste materials or trade waste such as tree cuttings rubble, etc. It is your responsibility to keep the site clean and tidy.
- Use of the area as a toilet. You must not deposit or leave human waste openly in public areas.
- Abuse, intimidation or harassment of any person who is lawfully using the area. Excessive noise or other forms of anti-social behaviour.
- Animals that are not kept under control or that attack persons lawfully on the land, or nearby.
- Interference with electrical, water or gas supplies. Any person/s found abstracting electricity, or wasting quantities of water may be subject of criminal proceedings.
These codes are the same standards of behaviour that are expected of the settled community. Thames Valley Police are committed to ensuring that all policing issues that affect you, are balanced; however behaviour that is deemed unacceptable within society will not be tolerated.
The travellers in Windsor are understood to have gained entry to the Dedworth Manor park by smashing open a padlocked gate yesterday.
When asked about the damage to council property one of the officers at the scene – which is 0.6 miles from Royal Windsor racecourse – today said: ‘It’s only a few padlocks broken’.
Two officers and two community support officers took part in the checks on the travellers.
One of the officers said: ‘We are here to carry out welfare checks as we would do with any homeless person.
‘We have been checking on their welfare, handing out Covid test kits and giving advice such as location of the nearest hospital’
The Dedworth Manor area is overlooked by flats. Some residents were less than thrilled to see the caravans spread out across the open space.
After arriving last night ,some of the travellers attempted to get a drink at the New Windsor Social Club on the edge of the park, but were turned away as it was a members only.
One drinker said: ‘They force their way in and yet are treated like royalty.
‘Can you imagine what would happen if I drove down the long walk and had a picnic?
‘It really is one rule for them and another for others’
One traveller said they had pitched up at The Long Walk so that the children could have ‘somewhere nice’ to eat their lunch before moving on to their latest camp.
When asked how long they intended to stay on their new pitch and where they had travelled from, a woman member of the traveller group told MailOnline: ‘It’s none of your f****** business.
‘Leave now of I’ll fetch my husband and he’ll deal with you’
Residents who saw the camp being set up expressed concern that Dedworth Manor looking like a rubbish dump when they do eventually leave.
Steve Christie, 64, said ‘We’ve all heard about rubbish being left behind in these situation. It’s the first time they’ve been on here and the sooner they go the better.’
Mother-of-two Sally Langmead said: ‘They have not been any trouble so far, but it just puts the whole estate on edge.
‘It’s sad to say but many of the travellers come with a bad reputation. I hope there is no trouble.’
Despite the warm weather no locals were in the park. One elderly woman walked her dog around a car park rather than venture into the area.
Windsor and Maidenhead Council have been contacted for comment.
Work equipment belonging to the travellers – including a wood chipper – could be seen in the park today.
Children from the group played on swings while one teen arrived back at the site in a Uber that dropped him off in the car park of the New Windsor Community Social Club.
Meanwhile, the Long Walk was nearly deserted today.
Two cars were seen parked at the entrance to the castle grounds, with one marked as a ‘warden’ – in an apparent attempt to put off anyone who might want to return.
In Windsor yesterday, vans and motorhomes were parked near signs which state that vehicles are ‘prohibited’, while pictures showed the group blocking off the Long Walk almost entirely.
The 2.6mile track – a popular tourist attraction – connects Windsor Castle with Snow Hill in Windsor Great Park.
It is still used by the royal carriages every year as part of the route from Windsor Castle to the Ascot Races.
Prince Andrew was seen driving through the camp in his Range Rover yesterday – seemingly unperturbed by his new neighbours. The Duke of York lives with ex-wife Sarah Ferguson, 61, in Royal Lodge on Windsor’s grounds.
One person who earlier saw the group said they were ‘absolutely stunned’ at how they had parked their vehicles on the Long Walk.
Much of the 2,000 hectare royal estate is open to the public free of charge from dusk until dawn.
While the Queen has spent much of her time at Windsor Castle during the pandemic – including after the death of husband Prince Philip in April – she is believed have left for Balmoral earlier this month to privately mourn the consort’s death.
But she has since returned to the residence. The royal standard – the flag which when flown indicates that the Queen is present – was yesterday seen flying above the Berkshire castle.
Officials are seen talking to travellers in a caravan in Dedworth. The group moved over there after being removed from the Long Walk at Windsor
Hardly anyone could be seen at the Long Walk today. Locals stepped out in the warm weather for a stroll
Police issued Code of Conduct notices (pictured) to those remaining in Hanover Way overnight
In the travellers’ new camp police were last night handing out Code of Conduct notices, local Councillor Jon Davey said.
The councillor for Clewer and Dedworth West wrote on Facebook: ‘Police are at Hanover Way / Dedworth Manor issuing Code of Conduct notices to the travellers. Police request residents just let the authorities follow procedure. Council are aware. Thank you.’
He shared one of the notices, along with a picture of police officers at the scene.
The notice read: ‘To ensure members of the settled and travelling communities or others who may live a nomadic lifestyle can live together in a peaceful and unprejudiced way, we expect you to comply with this Code of Conduct.
‘We expect you to treat the land you have occupied with respect and that you respect the rights and freedoms of other people who also wish to use the area.’
Includes a list of behaviour that may result in eviction, such as ‘camping upon any land designated as a public amenity’, ‘interfering with the rights and freedoms of other members of the public’ or ‘driving vehicles along any footpath’.
A Thames Valley Police spokesman said: ‘At around 6pm last night Thames Valley Police were called about an unauthorised encampment on the Long Walk in Windsor.
‘Officers engaged with the landowner and also those in the encampment and those who had gathered dispersed.’
Commenting on the group now in Dedworth Manor, the spokesman added: ‘As this is a civil matter at this stage we are engaging with the landowner and those gathered on the unauthorised encampment.’
A row of caravans are seen stretched out along the grass in Dedworth. Officials were seen talking to travellers there
Caravans are set up in Dedworth. The scene in the field today –
Officials with clipboards are seen walking along a path in Dedworth, where a group of travellers moved to after relocating out of Windsor’s Long Walk
The grounds are empty of the Queen’s uninvited neighbours today. Pictured: The Long Walk is nearly deserted
Two cars were seen parked at the entrance to the grounds today, with one marked as a ‘warden’ (pictured)
Officials were seen on the newly-deserted Long Walk today, after the traveller camp moved out last night
Two officials with walkie talkies are seen standing at the Long Walk in Windsor today. It comes after travellers moved into the area yesterday but swiftly cleared off
The group parked vehicles and up to 30 caravans and motorhomes outside famous Windsor Castle yesterday (pictured) – widely regarded as the Queen’s favourite royal residence and the one in which she is currently staying
Last night, officials launched an attempt to move the travellers on, with pictures showing police, council officials and Windsor Park wardens (pictured) all in discussions with the group
Officials and park wardens earlier turned up at the site to try and move the travellers on after they arrived there on Tuesday
The group parked their vehicles near signs which show the area in which vehicles are ‘prohibited’. Pictures showed the group were blocking the Long Walk – a famous tourist attraction
The 2.6mile track connects Windsor Castle with Snow Hill in Windsor Great Park and is still used by the royal carriages every year as part of the route from Windsor Castle to the Ascot Races
The group was made up of up to 30 caravans and motorhomes according to those at Windsor Great Park on Tuesday
Police earlier arrived at the Long Walk to talk to the travellers who arrived at the famous site at Windsor Great Park
Travellers finally move on from Kew Green in West London hours before an eviction notice could be served forcing them to leave – to the relief of millionaire neighbours
By Paul Thompson and Tom Pyman For Mailonline
A group of travellers who took over an affluent west London park voluntarily left hours before an eviction notice could be served forcing them to leave.
The 12 caravans and cars that had first pitched up on Kew Green on Thursday, angering nearby neighbours living in £2m homes, finally left last night.
Legal representatives from Richmond Council have now been granted a three month order banning travellers from returning to the site.
A council spokesman said there was no damage to the green and rubbish left behind had been removed.
Local residents expressed their relief – and urged the council to keep the banning order in place.
Josie Allen, 56, said: ‘We are lucky there is no damage. I am pleased they’ve gone and do not want to see them back.’
A local shopkeeper said youths from the group had stolen from her convenience store and there were reports of youths fighting.
Meanwhile, the travellers claimed they had been abused by motorists stuck in traffic on Kew Bridge.
The council was granted an order of possession by the High Court on Monday evening.
A graphic shows how different Kew Green in west London looks today, compared to yesterday, following the travellers’ departure last night
A group of travellers who took over an affluent west London park voluntarily left hours before an eviction notice could be served forcing them to leave
The 12 caravans and cars that had first pitched up on Kew Green on Thursday, angering nearby neighbours living in £2m homes, finally left last night
Legal representatives from Richmond Council have now been granted a three month order banning travellers from returning to the site
Rubbish left behind after a group of travellers spent the bank holiday weekend on Kew Green in west London
A council spokesman said there was no damage to the green in the affluent west London park and that rubbish left behind had been removed
Walkers returned to the park this morning after the group of travellers, which included 12 caravans, finally departed
Kew Green looked almost entirely deserted this morning following the departure of the group last night
A council spokesman said: ‘A group of travellers who have been on Kew Green since Thursday have left the site, after swift legal action from Richmond Council resulted in a High Court decision to give the Council powers to evict them.
‘The travellers voluntarily left yesterday evening (Tuesday) and Council officers were on site immediately to inspect for damage. The group left some bags of rubbish, which Council contractors cleared early this morning. No damage has been caused to the site.
‘Although the travellers have now left, the Council will still serve the Order of Possession today, which is valid for three months.’
Cllr Julia Neden-Watts, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sports Committee, added: ‘Thanks to our prompt action last week we were able to get a court hearing as soon as possible after the Bank Holiday, which has resulted in a Possession Order and the traveller group voluntarily leaving the site before we were required to evict them.
‘In this instance we did not have the same power we have had in recent years, following a High Court order earlier this month which denied the Council’s request to extend the previous expedited injunction process.
‘We moved as quickly as legally possible to ensure that the travellers could be moved on from Kew Green and we hope that this swift action deters this group from returning and others from coming to the borough.
‘I would like to thank Police, our Parkguard officers and our cleansing team who have been on site since Thursday to monitor the site and clear any waste left in the area.’
The travellers arrived last Thursday afternoon, and as soon as the council were notified, officers visited to conduct welfare checks and site assessment and request they move on. The group, however, did not co-operate.
The council issued a legal notice of the hearing date on Saturday morning. Unfortunately, the group continued to refuse to leave.
Security guards had been patrolling the green which is just an eight-minute walk from popular attraction Kew Gardens and is surrounded by properties valued at an average of £2million each.
Police were also monitoring the situation after complaints from local residents that a local alleyway was being used as a toilet.
One bare chested man among the group said earlier this week: ‘We will leave when we want.’
Travellers who took over an affluent park in West London were due to be forced out after the local council took its five-day battle to remove them to the High Court
A woman stands on the phone next to a collection of bin bags after travellers left a huge amount of rubbish over the weekend
Despite being asked to move on Friday, the group showed no signs of leaving as they walked around the site earlier today
A young man driving a BMW on the site has a chat with another as the council steps up its efforts to remove the group
A number of vehicles remain on the site, but local authority chiefs are confident of successfully evicting the travellers today
Three men enjoy a smoke as the pressure mounted following the group’s arrival in the affluent park late last week
A man and a woman at the site yesterday, despite the growing efforts from council chiefs to evict the group of travellers
A traveller’s car performs donuts (pictured left and right) in the middle of the affluent west London park
Legal representatives from Richmond Council are this afternoon seeking a court order for their eviction from Kew Green, where the group have upset neighbours over the bank holiday weekend
The council has promised to repair any damage to the green as well as dispose of dozens of black rubbish sacks
The order is almost certain to be approved, with a local authority spokesman saying: ‘How much time the group have to leave depends on the court’
Neighbours are upset with the amount of rubbish that has been left by the travellers since they first arrived on Thursday
A woman folds a pram over the grass yesterday as the travellers continue to stay on Kew Green in Richmond, West London
A group of men gather on Kew Green in West London yesterday as the travellers refuse to leave amid a stand-off with the council
Travellers continue to stay on the site at Kew Green in West London yesterday as Richmond Council tries to evict them
Local residents said yesterday how they hoped the eviction – were it to come to that – would go smoothly.
One told MailOnline: ‘We just want them gone. What gives them the right to take over the Green?
‘Fortunately there has been no trouble but they will not be taking their rubbish with them so someone has to pay to clear that up.’
The council has promised to repair any damage to the green as well as dispose of dozens of black rubbish sacks.
Residents in the upmarket neighbourhood who would normally be enjoying picnics in the warm weather say they have been forced instead to remain indoors over the weekend.
Security guards who had been patrolling the green kept a low profile ahead of the court hearing.
One local said she caught a teenager from the traveller camp trying to steal her neigbour’s vintage Triumph motorcycle.
Sophie Hunter, 51, said: ‘I caught the lad sitting on the bike and trying to walk it away down the road.
‘I shouted out to him and told him that he couldn’t do that and he tried to argue that it was his motorbike. It was only when I started trying to film him that he got off.
‘I called the police but they didn’t send an officer down and haven’t called me back. In fact the police have been scarce since the travellers arrived last week. It’s caused a lot of upset locally because on a day such as this you’d get people sitting on the green, families would play games and have picnics.
‘But the travellers have ringed the space with their caravans and are very intimidating. A few of them have given a friend of mine some verbals for asking them to turn their generators off.
‘It’s a shame because it’s the nicest weekend weather we’ve had in quite some time. Apparently a few people have used an alley between some of the houses as a toilet and a few of the kids have been seen going through people’s allotments.
‘I have to say I’ve avoided going on the green altogether, I usually walk my dogs across there but I’ve taken the long way around today. I’m worried there might be broken glass on the grass from where they’ve been drinking out of bottles and I don’t want the dogs’ feet to be cut.
‘This is a conservation area and to get anything past planning from Richmond council takes a miracle…unless you turn up mob handed and plonk a load of caravans in the heart of the community.’
A woman walks on the grass at Kew Green in West London yesterday as the travellers continue to stay on the site
A girl pushes a baby in a pram at Kew Green in West London yesterday as the travellers continue to stay in the area
Two shirtless men walk on the grass at Kew Green in West London yesterday as the travellers continue to stay at the site
A security guard patrols Kew Green yesterday as Richmond Council continues to try to evict the travellers from the site
A man holds a mug as he talks to other men gathered on the picturesque Kew Green in West London yesterday
The travellers are pictured yesterday having set up camp in the affluent West London park over the bank holiday weekend
Groups of bare chested men were yesterday seen soaking up the sun drinking cans as children cycled on the green. Families had opened car doors on vehicles parked next to their caravans to use as makeshift washing lines.
There were piles of rubbish bags placed neatly by the bins with very little litter strewn across the green.
Local resident Jane Walker, 45, said she would normally take her three-year-old son to Kew Green to play but felt too intimidated this afternoon. he said: ‘I don’t want to be that person, but I’m too worried about going on there at the moment with the older teenagers hanging around.
‘I’d normally take my son over to the green and maybe kick a ball about it but I’ve stayed at home today instead. The travellers have kind of taken over the community space. I hope they aren’t going to be there much longer.’
A couple, who have lived in the area since 1974 but declined to give their names, were walking past today. The man said: ‘We haven’t had travellers on the green for years and years and I hope it doesn’t become a regular thing.
‘I know some travellers used to pitch up on land near to the National Archive but the council put bollards and gates there a few years ago and they haven’t been back since. Perhaps that needs to be done here but it wouldn’t be that pleasing on the eye to surround the green with fencing.
A man stands outside a caravan yesterday as the travellers continue to stay on the green, which is a short walk from Kew Gardens
A man looks inside a caravan yesterday as the travellers continue stay on Kew Green in an affluent part of West London
A man stands next to a park on Kew Green yesterday as travellers stay on the picturesque site in West London
A man washes his hair outside a caravan yesterday as the travellers stay on the site at Kew Green in West London
‘As far as I know there hasn’t been many major problems although I did hear that someone was chased over Kew Bridge for trying to take photos of them the other day. The council sent a worker down to put up notices from the High Court on posts but they were removed and dismantled pretty much straight away.
‘My guess is that if they’re not gone by tomorrow, then they’ll be here until the end of half term.’
Artist Sue Mason, 72, said: ‘I’ve not been too bothered by them myself, although it’s a shame that the families would normally be picnicking and enjoying the green have been put off from going.
‘There isn’t much mess as far as I can see, the families on there have cleaned up after themselves. Whether there is any damage done to the grass from their vehicles we’ll have to see.
‘But there hasn’t been any trouble, there’s not been any loud music or shouting and swearing. The only noise is from their generators which admittedly do go on until late at night. That said I would want them to move on fairly soon.
‘We used to have knee-high railings that used to surround the green but much of it was removed to help manufacture ammunition during the war. Perhaps we need to put it back?’
A man walks through Kew Green yesterday as the travellers stay on the site in West London at the picturesque park
A man rubs his hands together yesterday as the travellers continue to occupy Kew Green in the Richmond area of West London
A man wipes his face on a towel at Kew Green in West London yesterday as the travellers continue to occupy the site
On Friday, Richmond Council confirmed it would start the legal process to obtain and enforce a possession order.
Delays were expected due to a High Court order earlier this month that denied the council’s request to extend the previous expedited injunction process, in common with numerous other local authorities.
Instead, the council is forced to go via the courts to remove the group. A spokesman for the local authority confirmed once the travellers have been removed it will endeavour to repair any damage caused.
Speaking on Friday, Councillor Julia Neden-Watts said: ‘A small group of travellers has arrived in Kew. This morning, Council officers will commence the legal action required to expedite their departure.
‘Due to a recent court ruling, this process will not be as fast as residents would like and I know that they will be concerned, but we have to work within the law.
‘As soon as the travellers leave, we will inspect the area and ensure that any damage is repaired, and waste removed. Our park guard officers, along with the police, will be monitoring the site closely until the group depart.’
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: ‘Police were called to Kew Green, Kew, at 4.28pm on Thursday, May 27 to reports of a group of vehicles on the land.
‘Officers attended and regular patrols around the area have been carried out during the past few days.’