Travellers at Kingsmead Field on Thursday morning

Travellers descend on popular city green space

Travellers have descended on the Kingsmead Field in Canterbury.

Fifteen vehicles including cars, motor homes, caravans and a flat bed truck arrived at the field yesterday.

Piles of rubbish have already started to accumulate at the far end of the open space, which features a children’s play area and picnic tables.

Canterbury City Council has been informed of their presence.

The authority said: “Our enforcement team is aware that a group of travellers has set up camp at Kingsmead Field in Canterbury.

The Kingsmead Field this morning

“The council will work as quickly as the law allows to move them on.”

St Stephen’s councillor Terry Westgate added: “Please be aware that these travellers may be touring the local area touting for work.

“Under no circumstances should you agree to have work done on your property or garden or engage anyone to remove unwanted waste from your premises.

“Always make sure you employ reputable tradesmen and get several written quotes before agreeing to have work done.”

Yesterday, there were reported incidents in Sturry of men trying to persuade homeowners they needed work doing to their houses and trying to extract money from them.

It is not clear at this stage whether these approaches are linked to the arrival of the travellers at Kingsmead.

The field is popular with families and dog walkers and is looked after by volunteers from the Friends of Kingsmead Field who saved it from being developed for housing.

Last year travellers descended on the field in early June. Once they had left, it was discovered that they had lit fires, dumped rubbish in bushes, left used toilet tissue by the River Stour and driven vehicles over wildflower beds planted by the Friends of the Field.

Afterwards, they moved on to the Beverley Meadow. There, a dog walker taking a picture was threatened by a boy who rode up on a bike and told him that he had a knife while his father had a machete.

John Durtnell, who walks his Jack Russell at Kingsmead, said: “It’s a nightmare every time they come.

“They leave the place in a state and no one wants to use the field because of them. I can only hope the council moves them on quickly.”

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