Children’s play area at Victoria Park in Ilkeston covered in human excrement

NILA: Travellers have set up camp in Ilkeston. At Victoria Park Ilkeston
NILA: Travellers have set up camp in Ilkeston. At Victoria Park Ilkeston

Travellers who set up camp at an award winning Ilkeston park for two days smeared human excrement on children’s play equipment before they left.

The group parked their mobile homes at Victoria Park on Thursday night. They left on Friday evening after Erewash Borough Council served them notice to leave. Two workers who arrived to clean up the rubbish left behind noticed that dog mess and human excrement had been smeared on the children’s play equipment.

They spent two hours cleaning it up with the help of a local resident.

A woman, who lives close to the park but did not wish to be named, said: “They had smeared dog and human excrement all over the children’s play area - including the slide and a tube that children climb through. I’m disgusted and couldn’t believe they would do that. The council workers and my husband had to clean it. I gave them some bleach and they were scrubbing it off for two hours. I’m so appalled - kids could have turned up the next day.”

The travellers arrived in Ilkeston on Thursday when one group initially parked their vehicles in the middle of the cricket pitch at Rutland Sports Park. They were then made to leave before a second group - who had three vans and five cars - arrived at Victoria Park.

Councillor Mike Wallis, Erewash Borough Council’s lead member for culture and leisure said: “We share the outrage of local people who were rightly furious that travellers had set up camp on our much-loved Victoria Park and we were pleased that they left the site on Friday evening after we served them with a 24-hour notice to leave.

“We are absolutely disgusted at the filthy state the site was left in and it is difficult to find strong enough words to express our revulsion.”

“Using a children’s play area as a toilet and smearing human and animal mess all over play equipment is vile and disgraceful behaviour.

“The council, and the local community, are proud of this Green Flag park and it was important that we took immediate action on Friday evening to thoroughly clean the popular play area and make it safe for children to use.

“We would like to say thank you to the local resident and his wife who helped our team in the clean-up.”

One man from the previous group was charged with criminal damage on Thursday.