'They just don't care': Unauthorised groups 'ruin' pitches for Harold Wood Cougars

Harold Wood Cougars

Brian said the non-members using the pitch pay no regard to the signs in place. - Credit: Harold Wood Cougars

A Harold Wood football club is calling on the council to take action after its two pitches were "ruined" by non-members.  

Harold Wood Cougars club alleged a group of people have been using its pitches every Saturday for three years without permission.  

The unauthorised use in wet weather has destroyed two pitches - forcing them to close to paying members.  

Harold Wood Cougars celebrate their Peter Coote Cup final success at Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road g

Harold Wood Cougars celebrate their Peter Coote Cup final success at Leyton Orient's Brisbane Road ground - Credit: Archant

The pitches in Harold Wood Park are leased by members of the Harold Woods Sports association, meaning club members should get first use of all marked pitches.  

Harold Wood Cougars

One of the ruined pitches in Harold Wood Park. - Credit: Harold Wood Cougars

Club secretary, Brian Elwis, 50, said: “The club pays thousands of pounds to play on these pitches which are now ruined and cannot be used.

"They just don’t care.”  

Brian said the club has approached people using the pitches without permission and claimed they "became aggressive and simply refused to move.” 

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The Cougars is hoping the council will enforce rules such as needing a permit to play.  

A Havering Council spokesperson said: “Our enforcement and parks officers are continuing to work together to investigate further and see how this can be resolved.”