“Residents at Barnard Castle prison protest over Travellers intimidation claims”.
This was the headlines in the Northern Echo on 31 May, following approximately 44 caravans setting up an illegal campsite on the outskirts of Barnard Castle, next to Deerbolt Young Offenders’s Institute.
Even once the travellers had been evicted, a local residents’ institute highlighted the land’s ongoing vulnerability to Travellers, because nothing was done to prevent another illegal settlement accessing the site. A member of the Institute contacted Block Aid for advice on temporarily blocking the site’s entrance with concrete blocks.
Within just a few hours, three of our lorries were on their way, carrying 32 concrete barriers and our new galvanised 5 metre gate – problem solved! Block Aid’s swift response, combined with the efficient deployment of our barriers, meant that we received a warm welcome – and even made some new friends!