APPROXIMATELY two weeks ago, a group, consisting of some 20 caravans and towing vehicles, unlawfully encamped on the picnic area at West Mills, Bishop Auckland, moving the large stones which the council had put in place to prevent vehicular access, in order to do so.

Apart from denying people the enjoyment of this local amenity, the group has caused damage to the grass of the picnic area by churning it up with their vehicles and has left a disgusting amount of waste and debris in its wake.

In the present coronavirus emergency, the situation was made immeasurably worse, by the encampment being in flagrant breach of Public Health England guidance prohibiting anyone, without reasonable excuse, from staying overnight at any place other than the place where they are living.

Durham County Council does not always receive a good press in Hear All Sides.

I would like to take this opportunity however, to commend the council, for taking the problem seriously.

In accordance with due process, the council obtained a court order which has resulted in the vacating of the site by those who should not, of course, have been anywhere near it in the first place.

Clive Booth, Bishop Auckland