Further details emerge about trespassing and vandalism at Medieval Derbyshire castle
Further details have emerged about the vandalism and damage caused by trespassers at a Derbyshire castle site during lockdown.
A row broke out this summer about access to Codnor Castle, in Amber Valley, after walkers complained on social media that the site was being made off limits by its new owner.
They claim in recent weeks the owner has started objecting to people passing through fields close to the castle ruins, which date back to the 13th Century.
However, Codnor Castle Heritage Trust, which is working with the owner to develop the site, said people were often mistaken about right of access to the site.
And trust chairman Rokia Brown says the owner has been forced to take steps to protect the site due to damage caused during lockdown.
She said: “The castle is on the at risk register. It was the general public, whilst knowing members of the trust were off site because of lockdown, knocked down the fencing and started trespassing all over the site.
"Climbing on the ancient walls, leaving all their rubbish and generally vandalising the site.
“Of course this is not everyone, however, I am sad to say, a vast majority.”
Rokia added that the ‘sheer disrespect of an ancient medieval castle’ had disappointed the trust.
A resident, who asked not to be named, said walkers were being ‘chased off by the new owners’ who are ‘not allowing visitors into adjacent fields to view the castle’.
He added: “Dozens and dozens of families are being shouted at although this has been open to the public for years and footpaths run very close to it.”
On the Spotted Heanor Facebook page, another resident posted: “On Bank holidays and warm sunny days hundreds of families usually storm the ramparts.”
Rokia says Historic England agrees with the new owner that the site should be fenced off, which the owner will be doing shortly.
"Derbyshire County Council will be putting signs up to let the public know where the rights of way are,” she added.
The trust’s long term aim is to see the site open to the public.
Codnor, Ripley and Waingroves Police Safer Neighbourhood Team has placed signs warning people about the dangers on the site.