Travellers leave trail of destruction

A clean-up operation is continuing after dozens of travelling families turned a pretty Lancashire park into a rubbish tip.

The travellers spent 10 days living on Longsands Village Green, off Andertons Way in Fulwood, Preston, before leaving on Thursday night.

But they left the park – used by families, dog walkers and youngsters – strewn with rubbish, soil, rotting food, hard-core, computer monitors, bricks and faeces in hedges.

Coun Jennifer Greenhalgh, who represents the Garrison ward, said: "They have defecated on it, they have put aggregate on it and they have run quad bikes all over it.

"We have provided a skip but there is stuff everywhere and we are having to write the cheque for this.

"When people behave in a moderate way that's fine, but this is unacceptable and somebody has to stand up and say it.

"They have left a very bad taste in everybody's mouths."

She said a meeting was due to take place between the council and police to discuss ways to prevent it happening again.

And one resident, who asked not to be named, said the green was like "a ploughfield with open landfill areas".

He said: "It is an absolute disgrace."

People living close to the green watched in horror around 40 caravans and vehicles moved in on Monday September 21.

They defied a council order asking them to leave by 4pm on Thursday September 24 and further action was due to be taken this week.

Tony Jackson, chairman of Longsands Community Association, said it would not affect plans to improve the green, which includes a rec zone and picnic area.

He said: "I think it could have been a lot worse.

"Don't get me wrong, there is still excrement in the trees, but if the field had been wet, it would have been horrendous.

"The council has been brilliant as was the response from the police – we got them off reasonably quickly.

"The council put skips down which were full – there is still a lot of work to do.

"The travellers go round doing gardens and the rubbish they have got is dumped on the field."

A group of travellers recently moved out of the grounds of an empty office complex in Brierley Road, Walton Summit, near Bamber Bridge. And they also took over an area of land off Eastway in Fulwood.

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