Three new traveller encampments have been set up across Bournemouth and Poole after 25 caravans left Turlin Moor last night.

  • An eviction notice was served on the traveller camp at Turlin Moor giving them until noon today to move
  • At 9.30pm last night the group left Turlin Moor and split into three groups
  • Eight or nine caravans moved back onto Baiter Park, the third encampment there this summer
  • A second group of 11 caravans moved on Cotlands Road car park in Bournemouth
  • A third group moved onto Beach Road car park in Canford Cliffs
  • Travellers attempted to gain entry to Kings Park on Wednesday night but were turned back
  • Some of the Cotlands Road group are on the move again, apparently because they don't like the site. Around six caravans left late on Thursday afternoon. 

Bournemouth council has put other sites in lockdown including Meyrick Park, Queens Park, Redhill and Slades. The lockdown will stay in place until the air festival at the end of the month. 

Officials have put legal moves in process to gain possession of the Cotlands Road site, although at 4.30pm the council said some of the group appeared to be moving on because they "didn't like it" there. By 5pm around six caravans left the Cotlands Road site. 

Borough of Poole officers are currently deciding what action they are going to take. However they have welded up at the gate at Turlin Moor rec, where the travellers gained access. 

This will not prevent members of the public using the field and a football tournament on the pitch, which has not been damaged, will go ahead as planned this weekend.

Furious Poole residents are demanding answers as it is the third time Baiter Park has been used by travellers this year.

Two weeks ago eight caravans were at the same site before moving on just hours before an eviction notice would have forced them to leave.

Theresa McDowell, who walks her dog in the park, said she was disappointed to see travellers had returned to the car park.

She said: "I first noticed them in there this morning. There aren't as many as last time."

The 61-year-old added: "It makes me feel weary but I've never had any problems with them."

John Turner said he was frustrated to see travellers back at the park. He said: "This is the third time this summer.

"The time before last the council brought them down portable toilets to make sure they were ok.

"They have got money. They have got expensive cars. Other people pay to stay at caravan sites so why can't they?"

Mr Turner said he would like to changes in the law so illegal encampments can be shut down sooner.

He said: "Everybody seems to be frightened of them. The police seem to be frightened of them and the council seem to be frightened of them.

"They shouldn't be allowed to be here in the first place."

Mike Randall, chairman of Parkstone Bay Association, told the Echo: "This is ridiculous. This is the third time this has happened this year and people are getting a bit fed up with it.

"We need the council to take action to prevent this occurring. We desperately need height barriers put in the entrance to the car park. It is the only thing that will stop them getting in."

Poole resident Alan Cofflard of Elizabeth Road, who walks his dog on Baiter, was disgusted that the council had not done more to prevent the travellers from returning.

“They have these silly little stumps and where the put the Purbeck stone has not been planned. There are three or four areas where they can get through quite nicely,” he said.

He said there was still human excrement in the undergrowth from the last visit that had not been cleared up.

Mr Cofflard said it took Borough of Poole from July 18 to 24 to get the travellers evicted last time. “They are running Poole Council round in circles,” he said.

Cllr Chris Wilson, Poole People member for the Poole Town ward said: “I think this is the end for residents, this is the third time in a few months.”

She said she and Poole Party leader Cllr Mark Howell would be repeating their calls for a height restriction on the car park, which had been refused before on the grounds it would stop legitimate caravans from entering. But she said they generally went to the car park that fronted the harbour.

“They just play cat and mouse with us all summer to the detriment of anyone else,” she said. “We really need to be putting our thinking caps on again before next summer.”

Cllr Wilson, who was on the planning committee that threw out the proposal for the temporary transit site at Creekmoor added: “We'll never find a site in Poole.

“We need a site that can be used by travellers throughout Dorset. That would be the solution. We need the law changed before we can do that.”

Turlin Moor resident Julie Bagwell said all of the travellers had left the moor by 9.30pm, having been served with an order to move around 12noon on Wednesday.

“Thankfully the field is already being cleaned, very prompt response by the council cleaning teams, we are all pleased to say,” she added.

Comments have been opened on this story but please note: any reference to gypsies or any racially offensive term will cause them to be closed and you may find your account suspended. Romany Gypsies and Irish Travellers are legally recognised as ethnic groups, and protected by the Race Relations Act. Please keep your comments to this particular incident and do not generalise. Thanks for your co-operation.