TRAVELLERS have pitched up on playing fields which has put community events in jeopardy.

The travelling group moved their 25 caravans onto the football pitches at Waterhall playing fields in Brighton on Monday following an eviction from a site in Patcham.

Jason Tams, commercial manager of the Waterhall Rugby Club, said last time travellers arrived on the fields the cost of cancellations of events cost them more than £5,000.

Mr Tams said: “I know they need somewhere to go, but Waterhall is a recreational ground and not a campsite.”

Up and coming events at Waterhall which could be affected include The Argus Appeal Cycle Challenge on May 16 to 18, a rugby game for juniors on May 17, a RSPCA touch rugby match for charity on May 17, a Vet’s football tournament on May 17, and an under 14s football award presentation with a crowd of nearly 200 expected.

Sussex Police and staff from Brighton and Hove City Council visited the site yesterday to speak to the travellers and assess what impact the group might be having in the area.

Police have said the travellers’ presence on the land will be managed in the wake of upcoming events.

Inspector Paul Ransome said: “There are regular patrols in the area and we are monitoring the behaviour of the travellers to determine if we need to take any action.

“Currently there is no evidence that suggests we should use our powers to move them on, but this is being continually assessed in case the situation changes. We are continuing to work with the council's traveller liaison team to find the most appropriate solution to the situation.

“There are planned sporting events on this land in the coming weeks and the presence of the encampment will need to be managed with that in mind, as well as any antisocial behaviour and damage caused by the travellers.”