VILLAGERS were involved in a stand-off with travellers before police evicted the visitors from a popular field.
A total of 11 caravans entered Nepcote Green in Findon, near Worthing, on Tuesday afternoon before angry residents stopped more vehicles entering the field.
One man, who was involved in the stand-off, said: "We got out there to block the roads and make sure no more vehicles could get by.
"They must've broken the barrier in preparation to move on there.
"We had the same problem last year and they caused absolute devastation.
"The mess they left was unbelievable – rubbish, excrement, the lot.
"It took 60 of us to clear up what they left behind.”
The police issued a section 61 eviction order and the travellers left on Tuesday night.
Nepcote Green is the venue for the annual Findon Sheep Fair and Festival, a popular event dating as far back as 1261.
A Sussex Police spokeswoman said: “At 2.45pm on Tuesday, June 24, police were informed that a group of travellers in about 11 vehicles had entered Nepcote Green at Findon Village.
A Findon Village Parish Council spokeswoman confirmed they liaised with the police to assess the powers available to them under Section 61 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.
She said: “The traveler situation was rapidly dealt with by Sussex Police and the travelers left Nepcote Green at 8.45pm on June 24.
“The police were very responsive to the issue of a section 61 eviction order by the assistant chief constable and this has been much appreciated by residents and the parish council.
“The parish council chairman will be writing to express his appreciation on behalf of the parish. Thanks to the Findonites who rapidly gave their very welcome support to parish councillors and police on site.
“Further reinforcements to the Green are being put in place today.”
A Sussex Police spokeswoman confirmed the section 61 notice was served on Tuesday evening and the travellers left shortly after 8pm.