Anger as piles of rubbish are left at Hampshire Farm in Emsworth by travellers who set up unauthorised camp
TYRES, car seats, charred wood and swathes of plastic have been left to fester at an Emsworth beauty spot after it was targeted by travellers.
The filth was left behind at Hampshire Farm Meadows, off Skylark Avenue, by a group who vacated the site on Sunday afternoon.
Havant Borough Council told the travellers to leave after they set up an unauthorised encampment on Wednesday evening.
It is understood the site is the fifth in the Havant borough used by the same group in a month, after they previously set up unauthorised camps at Stockheath Common in Leigh Park, Jubilee Park in Waterlooville, Hooks Lane in Bedhampton and Bartons Triangle in West Leigh.
Richard Kennett, an Emsworth councillor, said: ‘I want all our community to be able to enjoy Hampshire Farm Meadow.
‘What residents and environmental groups do not unreasonably expect is that visitors leave the area in the state they find it – beautiful, clean and peaceful.’
Maintenance of the 42-acre meadow was transferred to the council and its contractor Norse South East in 2017.
Ray Cobbett, chairman of Havant Friends of the Earth, said the site’s status as a community orchard makes it particularly valuable.
‘Hampshire Farm has special ecological value as an important site for young trees planted by local residents,' he said.
‘I hope they’ve not been damaged and hope that Havant council implement measures to prevent further incursions.’
Cllr Kennett said he and other Emsworth councillors would help the authority ‘learn from what happened and take action for the future’.
A council spokeswoman said recent clean-ups after the traveller encampments at Stockheath Common, Jubilee Park, Hooks Lane and another at Purbrook Heath had each cost approximately £200.
This sum does not include court costs, officer time or repairs to defences, including gates, which the council also pays.
The authority confirmed yesterday travellers had set up another unauthorised encampment at Stockheath Common.
They have been served with a notice to leave and the authority will seek a court order to repossess the site if this is ignored.