Residents say famous Worcester beauty spot is a no-go zone after being ‘terrorised’ by yobs who take drugs, race motorbikes and egg houses
- Residents living next to Gorse Hill and Elbury Mount are under siege from yobs
- Authorities have pledged £50k to tackle bikers, drug dealers and disorder
- The nature reserve played a significant role in the English Civil War
Residents living next to a beauty spot known for its role in the English Civil War say it is off-limits after being invaded by gangs of motorbiking teens and drug dealers.
Locals living near Gorse Hill and Elbury Mount Nature Reserve in Worcester claim they are being ‘terrorised’ by youths who race up and down streets on bikes, as well as substance peddlers who take advantage of a lack of CCTV.
One dad said his nervous rescue dog was almost run over by a thug on a motorbike, while a grandad has vowed not to visit with his grandchildren.
Homeowners on nearby streets who have tried to speak to troublemakers say their houses then become targets for eggings by yobs who flee into nearby woodland.
Elbury Mount is the highest point in the county and commands stunning views over the famous Malvern Hills, where evidence has been found of early Bronze Age settlers thousands of years ago.
And the hill also has historical significance, used as a key location by Parliamentary forces in the First English Civil War.
Youths on bikes are said to be terrorising locals at Gorse Hill and Elbury Mount in Worcester. Those who speak up claim their houses then become targets for eggings by teenagers who run off into the woods
Declan Fitzgerald, 32 with his son Jensen, two, and rescue dog Bagel. He said a biker nearly ran his pet over in a ‘scary and intimidating’ encounter
Graffiti on a wall at Elbury Park Road, which leads into the Elbury Mount Nature Reserve. Locals say both it and Gorse Hill have become ‘no-go zones’ after swarms of youths and drug dealers moved in
But residents and walkers say they won’t go near the area now that it is being plagued by an influx of troublemakers.
Grandad Dave Bristow, 69, has lived in the area for 30 years – but now says he fears taking his grandchildren to the nature reserve.
The retired butcher said: ‘I walk my dogs up there twice a day but would never go there at night.
‘You see beer and cider cans all over the place.
‘I always think: if they can carry them up there full why can’t they take them back down empty instead of throwing them everywhere?
‘It’s sad really. One of them hacked down a lovely hollyhock flower which was in full bloom and dragged it all down the path. It’s just senseless.
Dave Bristow, 69, has lived in the area for 30 years and walks his dogs at the beauty spot daily. However, he says he won’t take his grandchildren to the scenic viewpoint
‘I’ve got two grandchildren but wouldn’t take them up there.
‘It’s an ideal place for teenagers to meet up where they know they won’t find any adults.’
Car salesman Declan Fitzgerald, 32, said his already nervous rescue dog Bagel was almost run over by a yob on a motorbike.
He said: ‘I was walking him on the parkland the other day when a motorbike hared past. It was very scary and intimidating.
‘I got chatting to another man who said motorbikes are constantly revving past his house. The situation has got out of hand.’
A mum-of-two, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals, said: ‘The nature reserve used to be lovely, you could take picnics up there and really enjoy the views.
‘There might be some litter but nothing like you have now. The place is a magnet for drug dealers who can do their business safely away from CCTV or police.
‘I’ve known of people who have dared confront the gangs and they got their houses egged over night.
‘What was once a really pleasant area where families and walkers could enjoy is now a no-go zone. The police don’t care and the gangs know it. They have made our lives hell.’
Gates were put up at access points to deter troublemakers on motorbikes – but homeowners say riders simply dismount and walk around the gates before taking off
Beer and cider cans are left ‘all over the place’ by yobs, according to residents. Worcester City Council says it is setting aside £50,000 to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area
Locals are now calling on Worcester City Council – home to a fly-tipping hotspot dubbed one of ‘Britain’s grimmest suburbs’ – to install CCTV at the nature reserve in a bid to stamp out the anti-social behaviour.
Councillor Mohammad Altaf, who represents Gorse Hill, also wants to put lockable gates on alleyways which have become a magnet for drug dealers.
He said: ‘The issue is that we have a lot of alleyways between Kenwood Avenue and there are a lot of residents complaining that at night there is a lot of drug dealing going on in those alleys.
‘If we can put gates in those alleys at certain times, especially at night when there is a lot of drug dealing and motorbikes are going up and down Kenwood Avenue.’
Fellow ward councillor James Stanley said: ‘CCTV is something that we would really like to get installed permanently.
‘But it’s very difficult to do because of significant demand elsewhere.
‘I think with the measures that we are hopefully going to get and also the stuff that is taking place at the moment, we’ll see a real significant improvement up there.’
Spots frequented by the gangs on Gorse Hill and Elbury Mount have become a target for littering, vandalism and graffiti
Councillors say demands to put CCTV on the hill are ‘very difficult’ to meet because of demand elsewhere. However, they have promised residents ‘significant improvement’
Worcester as seen from the top of Elbury Mount. The hill is a well-known beauty spot that has historical links to the English Civil War
Worcester City Council says it has set aside £50,000 to tackle anti-social behaviour in the area.
After more than 50 residents complained about motorbikes being ridden over the nature reserve, barriers were installed.
However, they were branded ‘useless’ by locals who say yobs simply hop onto a path to bypass them and access the beauty spot.
Elbury Mount, also known historically as Elbury Hill, was used as an encampment by the Parliamentarian forces in the months before the First English Civil War ended in the summer of 1646.
In his war diary written earlier that year Henry Townshend, part of the Royalist garrison, detailed how opposing Colonel Edward Whalley built huts and established a gun battery on the hill.
Whalley went on to become one of the regicides who signed King Charles I’s death warrant in 1649.
Druids are also said to have set up camp on the grassy slopes of the high ground in the 19th century.
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