MORE than £2,000 has been pledged in less than 24 hours after a crowdfunding campaign was launched to clean up and improve security at Droitwich’s St Peter’s Fields which was trashed by travellers over the weekend.
The illegal encampment was set up on Friday and their presence led to considerable disruption, including eight junior football matches being postponed, the switching of the final cricket fixtures and the delay of crucial end-of-season work to two other cricket pitches.
The pitches are used by Droitwich Spa Cricket Club and Droitwich Spa Boys and Girls Football Club.
Both have incurred additional costs for security to keep the area safe for members and the general public that enjoy the facilities – a bill that has run into four figures.
The travellers finally left on Tuesday evening when a clean-up of the fields was launched, along with a deep clean.
There were reports of the travellers, who brought with them five vehicles, defecating on the fields and leaving a large amount of litter.
The GoFundMe page was set up yesterday with a target of £1,750 set.
By today it had reached over £2,000.
Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston has offered to discuss the matter with club representatives and approaches have already been made to Wychavon District Council for deterrents on access in the future.
Martyn Davies, Droitwich Spa Cricket Club chairman, said: “The last weekend of the cricket season was ruined and cricket and football matches were called off due to safety and welfare issues as well as hygiene concerns with both clubs losing valuable funds due to the need to bring in security.
“On the plus side, we’ve received incredible support from the people of Droitwich who have voiced their backing for future deterrents but also made donations to our GoFundMe Page.”
He thanked everyone who donated money and their time and local councillors and police who had provided help and advice.
“We were fortunate that the weather has been dry over recent days as the travellers’ vehicles would have caused more damage to the pitches if the ground was wet.
“Work was halted on our clubhouse refurbishment so this can resume again but we cannot afford for this investment to be jeopardised by future invasions.
“We’re now calling on the local authorities to put measures in place as soon as possible to prevent illegal access onto our pitches and the surrounding parkland that are used and enjoyed by the local community.”
Click here to go to the GoFundMe page and donate.