CHILDREN, teenagers and elderly people who use a Kidderminster sports and community hub have been left shocked after travellers invaded the site's car park.
Enforcement officers from Wyre Forest District Council were poised yesterday to serve notice on the uninvited guests while police attended the scene on Tuesday to investigate reports of damage to a fence panel.
Six caravans set up camp at the Gilt Edge Leisure Centre, which is home to a lawn bowls organisation, judo group and social club, sometime overnight on Monday.
Rowan Sandoz, president of the Gilt Edge Bowling Club, labelled the arrival of the travellers as "terrible".
"We are quite vulnerable here and a lot of the members feel uneasy and uncomfortable", she said.
"This is the first time anything like this has happened and I can't quite get my head around it.
"There will be cost implications from the damage to our property as we have to pay for all repairs and there could be other negative impacts.
"Keeping our club secure is very important to us so naturally we are worried about our fence and alarm system post having been damaged.
"We are hoping the police can help us and it is a pity they can't do more, however we are determined to carry on and hopefully our members will go along with that."
The club leader added that the bowling green was regularly used by elderly members who might feel intimidated by the situation.
Andrew Haffner, head coach of the Samurai Judo Club, which has participants aged six to 70, similarly voiced his worries about the travellers.
He said: "They certainly weren't invited here and they have no right to be here.
"The caravans and vehicles are in the way and they are making a mess.
"Obviously there are now security concerns and I just hope the council are able to get them shifted as soon as possible.
"I find it difficult to understand that when they are trespassing on private property why they can't be moved on straight away.
"Parents of our younger judo enthusiasts will be looking around with some concern and the whole scenario will not be popular."
A member of the social club, who asked not to be named, said the presence of the travellers may put off its elderly customers from attending events and could have a devastating financial effect on the organisation.
One of the group of travellers however told The Shuttle they had had no trouble on the site and the community had been good to them so far.