Police called after Cornish locals send hate-fuelled messages to one another in row over village green

George Martin
Abusive notes were sent between villagers over the green space. (SWNS)
Abusive notes were sent between villagers over the green space. (SWNS)

Police have been called in to mediate over a 10-year row concerning a disputed village green.

Locals in the Cornish village of Forder sent each other foul messages sent in Christmas cards and painted abusive messages on walls over the land.

The dispute centres over an application to preserve a beauty spot for the community made a decade ago.

It was was originally submitted by Colin Brown, 81, on behalf of 150 villagers in 2008 who wanted to protect a plot by having it recognised as a village green.

The disputed village green in Forder. (SWNS)
The disputed village green in Forder. (SWNS)

But objections have been made by landowner and farmer Ruth Ramsden, 56, of Shillingham Farm, who bought the land with her husband James in March 2011.

She said her stance has led to years of abuse and threats made against her family and some of her supporters.

Documents show it included a handwritten scrawl inside the Christmas card stating: "Ramsden, you are a c***.

“You won't beat us over village green after going to Antony Passage Christmas party most of the village people back Forder after taking to them.”

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Pictures also showed a large white painted sign of the walls of one of her supporter's homes which read: "Villagreen (sic) you c***s."

And another hand written note addressed to her supporters read: "N&R Chapman. You c***s. Helping Ramsons (sic) over village green. Get f*****."

Documents show that the offensive Xmas note in 2015 was passed to police who investigated.

Ms Ramsden is currently the full-time manager of the thriving business that supplies beef and lamb to M&S.

An abusive message aimed at farmer Ruth Ramsden. (SWNS)
An abusive message aimed at farmer Ruth Ramsden. (SWNS)

She claims she has been left terrified by the string of vile threats and abuse over many years by members of the community she labelled "Saga Louts."

A long-awaited public hearing began today at Saltash Guildhall in Cornwall into the application by Cornwall Council.

And in a witness statement prepared for the hearing, Ms Ramsden spoke of the abuse she and her family had suffered over the years from those who supported it.

She told the hearing the application predated her arrival but she shared her predecessor's objections.

Ms Ramsden said in her statement that she was diagnosed with depression in May 2016 due to the abuse.

Colin Brown has been fighting to get the piece of land protected. (SWNS)
Colin Brown has been fighting to get the piece of land protected. (SWNS)

She added: "For a significant time, I could not even walk on the farm on my own. I left home completely for long periods in 2016 and 2017 and went to live at my mother's croft in Scotland. When these incidents occur, I still go there to escape. I know that this causes huge disruption to the farm and my family."

Ms Ramsden said other families that had supported her had also faced a barrage of abuse.

It is understood police have spoken to Colin Brown, who is behind the application, about the abuse, but there have been no arrests made and no indication about which of the campaigners was responsible.

Mr Brown said he agreed in 2008 to lead the bid by residents and said he would abide by whatever decision the council takes.

Mr Brown added that he and other residents wanted to ensure that it would be protected and safe from any kind of development.

Earlier this year, the council was ordered by the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman (LGO) to apologise to Mr Brown and pay him £600 compensation for the decision taking so long.

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