WORRIED residents living close to Hamworthy Park and Turlin Moor Recreation Ground say they were surprised at how easy travellers accessed both sites.
Eight caravans and one motorhome moved onto popular Hamworthy Park on Sunday evening, while an additional three caravans were driven onto the recreation ground at Turlin Moor, just over a mile away, close to the same time.
The travellers at Hamworthy Park are the same group that were evicted from Baiter Park, Poole, earlier in the weekend, after council officials secured a court order.
Meanwhile, it remains unclear if the Turlin Moor encampment is in any way connected to the travellers moved on from Hatchard's Field, Rossmore, on Saturday.
William Pettersson, who was walking at Hamworthy Park today, told the Daily Echo: “People have been coming to walk their dogs on that part of the field and have had to turn away. It has caused quite a stir. Nobody wants any trouble. It doesn't seem to have been too hard for them to get onto the site.”
Indeed, while the Echo was talking to neighbours, we witnessed a car drive along a footpath next to the car park and through where a post had been erected but was no longer there.
The car just drove over the grass to the unauthorised encampment in front of stunned witnesses.
Another resident, who asked not to be named, said he saw the vehicles takes the same route when they first filed onto the field on Sunday.
“There must have been a bollard or post removed from the car park,” he added. “They just all drove through in a line...there was nothing to stop them really.”
Meanwhile, at Turlin Moor, three caravans have been driven onto the car park yards from a children's play area.
Turlin Moor resident Norman Bailey said: “I'm not sure how they've got in, but last time they drove up the slope at the back of the car park.
“What the council did when they left is put all those bricks along the side of the field to stop them getting up the slope.
“But where the tractor has been coming in to cut the grass, the gate is either left open or only slightly bolted. In past year's travellers have actually broken the bolt on the gate to get in.”
Norman said every time the travellers leave the area, rubbish is left and the council have to come and clear it away.
“Last year there was a hell of a lot, there was about 25 caravans. What I noticed was it was mostly the travellers kids playing on the swings, the local kids stayed away,” he said.
Another neighbour said she'd be surprised if the travellers left the recreation ground before the bank holiday weekend.
“They know the timescales involved with legal procedures,” she said.
“They'll be no-one working at the council on bank holiday Monday, so they'll be there until at least next week, when the kids have broken up for half term.”
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