Travellers leave 'dreadful' mess on Cowplain playing field after setting up camp for 3 days

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A PLAYING field frequented by children and dog walkers has been turned into a filthy eyesore after it was used as an unauthorised encampment.

Prams, black bags, animal waste and plastic litter were dumped by travellers who left Westbrook Green in Grassmere Way, Cowplain, yesterday.

The scene at Westbrook Green, Grassmere Way, Cowplain, after travellers left the site on Sunday, October 13. They arrived on Friday, October 11.

The scene at Westbrook Green, Grassmere Way, Cowplain, after travellers left the site on Sunday, October 13. They arrived on Friday, October 11.

Four caravans got onto the field on Friday after wooden posts barring access to it were uprooted. Another looks to have been sawed away. 

Travellers on the site were due to appear in court today, but livid residents and a Cowplain councillor, David Keast, confirmed they have left. 

Cllr Keast said: ‘Considering they had only been there for three days the mess is dreadful. 

‘Something has to be done nationally so these people can be removed from sites like this immediately. 

The scene at Westbrook Green, Grassmere Way, Cowplain, after travellers left the site on Sunday, October 13. They arrived on Friday, October 11.

The scene at Westbrook Green, Grassmere Way, Cowplain, after travellers left the site on Sunday, October 13. They arrived on Friday, October 11.

‘This is a really nice open space and to see it in the state it’s in now is very disheartening.' 

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Cllr Keast said a team of Havant Borough Council contractors from Norse South East are due to clean up the site today. 

It is understood they will be checking the fenceline of the field, after reports chemical toilets were set up near the site's boundaries. 

The scene at Westbrook Green, Grassmere Way, Cowplain, after travellers left the site on Sunday, October 13. They arrived on Friday, October 11.

The scene at Westbrook Green, Grassmere Way, Cowplain, after travellers left the site on Sunday, October 13. They arrived on Friday, October 11.

One resident, who lives ‘100m away’, said travellers had also tethered a Shetland pony and allegedly verbally abused nearby business owners. 

Police were called to the site on Saturday morning after a boy, aged about 11, was allegedly ‘manhandled’ across the road by an adult. 

‘This mess is on the doorstep of a local nursery, primary school and infant school,' the resident said.

‘Living a mere hundred yards from the site, I have environmental concerns and health concerns as they have left animal waste, bedding and rubbish over the field.  

The scene at Westbrook Green, Grassmere Way, Cowplain, after travellers left the site on Sunday, October 13. They arrived on Friday, October 11.

The scene at Westbrook Green, Grassmere Way, Cowplain, after travellers left the site on Sunday, October 13. They arrived on Friday, October 11.

‘They have left a cage that housed animals, tree cuttings from, presumably, their business, as they appeared to have a tree service – based on their clothing branding and van branding.’

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A  Hampshire Constabulary spokeswoman said: ‘At 10.34am on Saturday, October 12 officers received a report of an assault in Grassmere Way.

‘Officers attended and spoke to those involved. No complaint was made.’ 

The mess comes after the council faced a busy summer evicting travellers from sites in Leigh Park, Waterlooville, Bedhampton and West Leigh

Unauthorised encampments were also set up in Gatcombe Park, Hilsea, on Southsea Common and on Zetland Field, in Farlington.