Overnight camping areas are being set up across County Durham for people making their way to Appleby Horse Fair.

Durham County Council is establishing Temporary Stop Over Areas along roads traditionally used by Gypsies and Travellers heading to and from the fair, which takes place from Thursday, June 6 to Wednesday, June 12. 

It is part of a coordinated response that also involves the South West Durham Business, Residents and Travellers’ Forum and the Teesdale Residents and Travellers’ Forum, which include representatives from the county council, town and parish councils, Durham Constabulary, local businesses and Gypsy, Roma, Traveller communities.

Seven TSOAs will operate along traditional travelling routes to Appleby in Teesdale and the wider South-west Durham area, from Friday, May 24 until Friday, June 27.

The TSOAs will be located at:

  • Westerton Layby, DL14 8AL
  • Gurney Valley, DL14 8RP
  • Broomielaw Picnic Area, DL12 8TT;
  • Guide Post Corner, Bowes, DL12 9HU
  • Land at Stainton Bank, DL12 8RQ
  • Shaw Bank Field, DL12 8TD
  • Wackerfield Layby, DL2 3AP
  • Winston Corner, DL2 3RW

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Joanne Waller, head of community protection services at Durham County Council, said: “Appleby Horse Fair has a long history and, for hundreds of years, Gypsies and Travellers attending the event have passed through County Durham.

"We are committed to working with our partners to provide TSOAs that benefit those using them and the residents living along the routes.

"These areas are provided every year so I would encourage people heading to Appleby Horse Fair to make use of the TSOAs as they travel through County Durham.”

Officers from Durham County Council and other agencies will be making regular visits to the TSOAs and unauthorised encampments to ensure appropriate support is offered to people staying there.

The Northern Echo:

Temporary signs will be in place to advise of the locations of TSOAs as well as signage detailing ‘Guidance for your Stay’ for those who encamp.

People travelling to Appleby will be able to access information about TSOAs on the event website: www.applebyfair.org

Any members of the public wishing to speak to the council’s Safer Communities Service can call 03000 260 000 or email grtservice@durham.gov.uk