Standoff at Serpentine: Moment angry mother confronts ‘travellers’ as they bring ponies into lido


This is the shocking moment three men took their ponies for a dip in the Serpentine lido in central London – forcing children to wait on the sidelines.

An angry mother stepped up to intervene after the men rode their animals into Hyde Park’s central lake. 

Footage taken by an onlooker showed the mother squaring up to a group of men as the horses cooled off, as she shouted at them: ‘You don’t get to tell me to shut up.’

Police officers were called at 4.36pm on Saturday to reports of ponies in the popular swimming spot. 

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said officers were called at 4.36pm when sunseekers’ swimming sessions were abruptly cut short.

Police officers were called to Hyde Park on Saturday to reports of ponies in the popular swimming spot

Police officers were called to Hyde Park on Saturday to reports of ponies in the popular swimming spot

Footage taken by an onlooker showed a mother squaring up to a group of men as the horses cooled off amid high temperatures

Footage taken by an onlooker showed a mother squaring up to a group of men as the horses cooled off amid high temperatures

Footage taken by an onlooker showed a mother squaring up to a group of men as the horses cooled off amid high temperatures

Children could be seen in the footage waiting on the sidelines while the horses enjoyed a quick dip.

Comments underneath a social media post sharing the video suggest the ponies may have been brought to the water to cool off before racing along the embankment cycle lane. 

One mother wanted the men to get out of the water immediately. She told another group of men standing at the water’s edge: ‘I will not go away. I don’t have to shut up, you don’t get to tell me to shut up. Get them out of the water.’ 

It is unclear what the men said to her. 

Police revealed no arrests were made, adding: ‘Police were called around 16:36 hrs on Saturday, 5 June to reports of horses in the Serpentine, Hyde Park.

‘Officers attended and advised the horse riders that it was an offence to have animals in the Serpentine. They got out of the water and left the area.’ 

Temperatures on Saturday soared to 77F (25C) as families headed out to the beach or London’s parks to enjoy the sun.

People lie down on the grass at Wimbledon Common, in London, as hot weather hit the capital on Saturday

People lie down on the grass at Wimbledon Common, in London, as hot weather hit the capital on Saturday

People lie down on the grass at Wimbledon Common, in London, as hot weather hit the capital on Saturday

It is not known if the men were part of the same group that police had to evict from Ravenscourt Park in west London last week.

At 7pm on Thursday night around 12 caravans and cars parked in Ravenscourt Park – just three days after they were forced out of Kew Green, which is just 3.7miles away, on Tuesday. 

Jim, a member of the travelling community at the park, claimed they had to move from the wealthy area after people broke into their homes and others were victims of racist abuse.   

On Wednesday, legal representatives from Richmond Council said it had been granted a three-month order banning travellers from returning to the Kew site. 

Metropolitan Police officers have been called to Ravenscourt Park, where an eviction notice has been served. It is believed the caravans could be moved on within hours.

It is not known if the men were part of the same group that police had to evict from Ravenscourt Park in west London last week

It is not known if the men were part of the same group that police had to evict from Ravenscourt Park in west London last week

It is not known if the men were part of the same group that police had to evict from Ravenscourt Park in west London last week 

A group of travellers moved into Ravenscourt Park in West London, having been previously moved out of Kew and Windsor in recent days

A group of travellers moved into Ravenscourt Park in West London, having been previously moved out of Kew and Windsor in recent days

A group of travellers moved into Ravenscourt Park in West London, having been previously moved out of Kew and Windsor in recent days

Police were at the scene in Ravenscourt Park observing what was happening with a van equipped with CCTV

Police were at the scene in Ravenscourt Park observing what was happening with a van equipped with CCTV

Police were at the scene in Ravenscourt Park observing what was happening with a van equipped with CCTV 

A neighbourhood enforcement van was deployed after officers received complaints about the travellers in the park

A neighbourhood enforcement van was deployed after officers received complaints about the travellers in the park

A neighbourhood enforcement van was deployed after officers received complaints about the travellers in the park

More than a dozen caravans pulled up in Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith, west London on Thursday evening

More than a dozen caravans pulled up in Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith, west London on Thursday evening

More than a dozen caravans pulled up in Ravenscourt Park in Hammersmith, west London on Thursday evening

A Hammersmith and Fulham Council spokesman told MailOnline: ‘We’ve worked closely with the Met Police and a notice has been served to require the owners of the vehicles to leave the park immediately.’ 

Photographs showed cars towing caravans into the park after members of the group broke into a gate that closed the area off to traffic. 

Around a dozen vehicles were photographed parked in rows on the grass at the popular leafy park in west London, where the average house is worth £1.05million.   

Jim, one of those parked up in Ravenscourt Park, said he did not know where to take his family next after the group were moved on from three sites in 24 hours. 

He said: ‘We just arrived last night from Kew and they’ve already used a section 61 on us to move on. They’re abusing us pretty badly because they keep using it on us and moving us on. We’ve been moved three times in 24 hours, once at one in the morning and then at 10am the next day.’

He claimed people tried to break into their caravans, before the group chased them away. ‘Then when the police arrived they blamed us, as always, which I think is disgusting,’ he added.

Rubbish left behind after a group of travellers spent the bank holiday weekend on Kew Green in west London

Rubbish left behind after a group of travellers spent the bank holiday weekend on Kew Green in west London

Rubbish left behind after a group of travellers spent the bank holiday weekend on Kew Green in west London

‘When you have six kids and you don’t even have time to feed them, because by the time you’ve cooked a meal you’ve got to leave again.

‘Some of the lads here have real mental health issues because of this – some have even thought about committing suicide. I don’t know where we’re going to go next, so I’m just going to get in my car and get on the motorway.’

He said he ‘felt like crying’ after the group were moved on from Kew Green, because he didn’t know where to go. 

‘I’m going to have to look at my wife and tell her I don’t know where we’re going, which doesn’t make you feel like much of a man, does it?

‘Yesterday I sat down and felt like crying, because I’m sat in a trailer with my wife and kids, and they can’t go out.

‘If they go to the play park over there, they get called names and insulted by the other kids, so I don’t let them go out. It was good here, because we have public toilets and we’ve kept the police clean. Any rubbish you see was there when we arrived.’

A Richmond Council spokesman previously said there was no damage to Kew Green after the group were forced to leave. Piles of rubbish which had been left behind were removed by officials.  

Photographs, taken before the group moved, showed a group of men gathering to drink beers. Others were seen hacking away at a large oak tree with two machetes as they appeared to build a swing.     



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