Welcome to the new Jungle – a refugee camp 25 miles from Calais complete with makeshift shops backed by gangsters profiting from migrant misery.
The sprawling settlement, in a forest at Grande-Synthe just outside Dunkirk, is home to over 500 people, including kids.
Mains electricity and water connects to the site.
Those there hope it is the last stop on their journey to Britain at the hands of people smugglers cashing in on their plight.
A source last night told the Sunday Mirror the traffickers “are taking a slice of shop profits” as well as charging thousands for the perilous journey across the Channel.
“The camp is a good money-maker for them and provides a base to sell and organise trips to Britain,” they said.
Aid workers estimate there are 2,500 migrants on the north coast waiting for a chance to cross illegally to the UK.
They expect the Dunkirk camp, which first sprung up in April, to keep growing.
Matt Cowling, of charity Care4Calais, told the Mirror: “To me, this is a new Jungle.
“Who knows how big it could go? But there’s definitely space to fit a lot more tents.”
The original Calais Jungle swelled to accommodate over 7,000 migrants, before it was dismantled in 2016 .
Medic Nora Keller, 22, helps at the camp and says it is “not a good environment” .
“We are treating many people with dog bites, scabies, blisters, coughs, colds, muscle pain as well as fungal injuries caused by water,” she said.
Britain has handed France £196million to deter and combat illegal migration in the past six years, including £54m announced by Home Secretary Priti Patel this month.
But desperate people keep arriving and continue to risk it all to reach the UK on dinghies.
More than 9,300 have crossed the Channel this year – already surpassing 2020’s record 8,410. Over 3,300 arrived in July alone.
French authorities have imposed increasingly tough security measures and police now dismantle new settlements more often.
Six districts brought in a 10-litre limit on fuel in Jerry cans in a bid to hobble the traffickers.
But the scores of migrants we met on Friday remain undeterred. Standing by a fire with pals, Samrand Hosseini, 28, an ex-post office worker from Sardasht, Iran, said: “I must get to the UK.
“It is very dangerous and I’m scared of drowning, but I have no option. It is too dangerous in Iran because I am Kurdish. I lost my job for being Christian and I could have my head cut off.
For more amazing exclusives sign up to one of our newsletters here
“In France they deport Iranians but England don’t and all I want is to go to a country where I can be safe and work.”
Samrand added: “My family paid smugglers €10,000 to get me from Iran to the UK.
“There are different packages, which cost different amounts in terms of how much walking you have to do. The most expensive is in the region of £15,000.”
Another man, who asked not to be named, said he and 24 others had been smuggled in the back of a truck over five days from Macedonia.
“I was scared we might suffocate,” he said. “And we couldn’t go to the toilet or eat or drink.” Care4Calais, which gives food, water and clothes to migrants, says they face a more “hostile environment” than ever but “will keep coming”.
Matt added: “What we need is more safe routes to the UK and less rhetoric that makes them seem different.”