A ROMSEY community leader has claimed dozens of bags of rubbish have been cleared after a group of travellers fled a rugby pitch this week.

The unauthorised encampment was spotted on the Romsey Rugby Club’s training pitch on Monday evening.

It is believed there may have been 15 vehicles on the pitch by Southampton Road, which gained access to the site through the back of the Romsey Rapids Sports Complex.

Now, cllr Dorothy Baverstock, who represents Romsey Cupernham on Test Valley Borough Council (TVBC), has claimed “40 bags worth of rubbish” were cleared up after the travellers left on Tuesday night.

READ: Residents criticise travellers for camping on Romsey Rugby Club pitch >>> 

However, a spokesperson from TVBC said there were “at least 30” bags cleared from the pitch.

They added most of the bags were “packed already by the travellers” and “eight tyres [were] left on the site”.

Ms Baverstock said: “I have been told about 40 bags of rubbish were cleared up by workmen, along with other things that were discarded.

“Clearing up this rubbish all comes out of Test Valley residents’ tax bills, because of these people who come and trespass on our wonderful areas.

“If they had their own designated areas they could live in then it would be their responsibility to maintain it, instead of coming to Romsey and dumping their rubbish.”

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Dorothy Baverstock Cllr Dorothy Baverstock

When asked if Ms Baverstock was surprised at the amount of rubbish left on the pitch she said: “No I’m not, because I remember the piles of rubbish left in the Alma Road Car Park by Waitrose in 2018.”

Romsey town centre manager, Mark Edgerley, said: “Sadly, the cost of legal action and [the] clean up is covered by Test Valley Council tax payers”, adding it is an “an unacceptable burden on local residents”.

Romsey Advertiser: Mark Edgerley Mark Edgerley

However, he highlighted the incident was “well-handled by borough council staff”.

As previously reported in the Romsey Advertiser, the Romsey Rugby Club were forced to cancel both of their senior fitness training sessions this week, as they did not think the group would “go so quickly”.

READ: Community leaders condemn travellers for camping on recreation ground in Nursling >>> 

Now the president of the club, Eric Bailey, has announced they will be able to resume their training from Tuesday, July 7, after it was cancelled this week due to the travellers on the land.

He said: “Obviously we are delighted they either decided to move on they were encouraged to leave by the authorities.

“We are pleased the training area will be available again and hopefully they won’t return.”

He added: “We would have started doing socially distanced fitness training on Tuesday and Thursday night, but we cancelled both sessions this week, because we did not know they would go so quickly.

“We will now resume our training from Tuesday, July 7, behind the Rapids.”

Deputy leader of TVBC, cllr Nick Adams-King, also told the Advertiser there were believed to be “10 to 15 vehicles that gained access to the pitch by going around the back of the sports centre”.

Romsey Advertiser: Cllr Nick Adams-King Cllr Nick Adams-King

It is not yet known how much it cost to clear up the rubbish.

This comes after community leaders condemned a group of travellers who parked up on Nursling Recreation Ground, Nursling Street.

READ: Local authority takes court action over travellers >>> 

Hampshire police were alerted to the unauthorised encampment, which was spotted on Friday, June 26, after caravans arrived at Nursling Recreation Ground, Nursling Street.

It is believed they are not the same group who camped on the rugby training pitch.