Background to the Stockdales project
The travellers’ unauthorised encampment was a wake up call to the Council and the community,, and Eton Town Council (ETC) discussed at length what could be done to safeguard this recreation area. RBWM was consulted and they advised that they were now protecting all their sites and strongly advised ETC to do the same. With RBWM reducing opportunities for travellers this would make remaining unprotected sites like Stockdales all the more vulnerable.
ETC was anxious to not only protect Stockdales but to also take the opportunity to enhance the area. It was decided to plant a number of trees to replace those lost over time and to fill in the gaps with wooden barrier rails. The trees have now been planted and the barrier rails are about to be installed. ETC is able to finance these works using S106 monies (Developers’ Contributions) and not local taxpayers money. The barriers will deter trespass, currently a civil matter but something the Home Office is considering criminalising to allow the police to act faster and take tougher action. Of course, as experience has shown, travellers will encamp regardless of what legislation is in place, and so the work in progress will we hope deter them from entering the ground in the first place.
Parking on the grass will be prevented by the trees and barriers but ETC acknowledges the need for additional parking spaces and is working with RBWM to achieve this.’