Charity race in danger as travellers refuse to leave Hornchurch Country Park
- Credit: Archant
Travellers have settled on parkland and are ignoring orders to leave – threatening an RAF charity race that passes through the site.
Caravans descended on Hornchurch Country Park and the adjoining Ingrebourne Hill last week.
Havering Council officers issued a court order for them to leave the park, which was ignored, and are now taking further court action as well as patrolling 24 hours a day.
The Forestry Commission, which owns Ingrebourne Hill, has also begun legal action to remove them.
Danny Coyle organises the Spitfire Scramble, London’s only 24-hour off-road race, which takes place in August and sees runners camping at the park.
You may also want to watch:
He is worried the race could be in danger.
He said: “Hopefully they will move on long before then, in which case I will probably need a small army of volunteers to help clear the rubbish.
- 1 Watch police break up 20-person Hornchurch baby shower
- 2 Can you help find Ricky Wellington, last seen on January 22 in Hornchurch?
- 3 Leaked council email casts doubt over Brookside theatre's future
- 4 De Rougemont Hotel plans to revert to being homes
- 5 Debenhams, Liberty Centre, to permanently close
- 6 Pub owner 'drilled through cables' weeks before boy was electrocuted, court told
- 7 Council report reveals concern that borough's Covid vaccination drive may be held back
- 8 Watch police fine seven in Romford for watching TV together
- 9 Mick Norcross, The Only Way Is Essex star, has died aged 57
- 10 Charity's 10 years of teaching safe travel to vulnerable young people
“I have 500 runners this year, up from 220, and their safety is paramount to me. They camp on site and run through the night and they must feel assured they are safe.”
This year the race will support the RAF Benevolent Fund.
A statement on the commission’s website states: “We are aware of reports of vehicles driving illegally on site and ask visitors to proceed with caution and call the police if appropriate so that any necessary action can be taken by the police.”
Cllr Osman Dervish, cabinet member for regulatory services, said: “We were made aware of travellers settling and served a court order requiring that they leave. They’ve overstayed this notice and we’re now taking further action through the courts to ensure that they leave as soon as possible.
“In the meantime, we’re carrying out patrols 24 hours a day to monitor the situation and keep our park safe. ”