Greenwich Council has continued its crusade to evict travellers from public parks after kicking out a group who pitched up on Bostall Heath.

Travellers turned up with 12 caravans, towing vehicles and tipper truck last Tuesday (June 12) around 8pm.

The council has been on a mission to stop illegal encampments in the borough, saying it started when they got fed up having to pay for the cost of rubbish removal and ground restoration.

From April 2015 to December 2017, Greenwich Council had to spend more than £400,000 to cover the cost of evictions, which led to their new-fangled Travellers Ban.

The injunction allows the council to threaten those who set up on council-owned land with arrest and even jail time.

For the travellers in Bostall Heath, they were allowed to stay until the next day as a child needed to attend a health appointment, but when they stayed beyond the allotted time they were warned police were coming to evict them and potentially seize the vehicles.

With the threat of arrest hanging over them, the illegal encampment was cleared by 7.20pm the following day.

A spokesperson from the council said the group had gained access to the land after cutting off the padlock of a gate and removing two posts on Longleigh Lane.

Councillor Jackie Smith said: “We are absolutely determined to protect our parks and open land from the damage illegal travellers’ encampments can cause.

“We took decisive action to ban unlawful encampments on our land in response to the huge number of concerns expressed by residents and businesses over issues such as fly-tipping and other environmental crimes.”

“I am pleased to see the ban being effectively enforced to protect Bostall Heath and would like to praise the good partnership work by the Royal Borough officers with the Met Police to enforce it.

“We hope this sends out a strong message that unlawful occupation of Royal Borough land will not be tolerated.”