A CHILDREN’S playground has been closed after it was covered with human excrement when travellers took over a recreation ground.

Adur and Worthing councils closed the play area in Sompting Recreation Ground in West Street, Sompting, Worthing, to clean it.

Travellers moved on to the council-owned field on Friday but moved on yesterday morning after being served a legal notice of eviction.

Workers spent yesterday cleaning the mass of mess and litter left on the field popular with children and dog walkers – days before a community festival there.

Repairs had to be made to the broken fence to re-secure the site and locks on the toilet block were replaced.

Residents said they were appalled by the chaos left by the travellers who parked 15 caravans on the recreation ground.

Phil Bigg, 72, of Rectory Farm Road, Sompting, said: “They first appeared last Friday afternoon and more came down my road on Tuesday evening.

“There were on quad bikes pulling wheelies and doing spins in the rec. The council were really quick in tidying up. It’s disgusting really.”

During the occupation of the field, residents complained about antisocial behaviour.

One resident in Peveril Road, Sompting, said she was too scared to walk her dog.

The 53-year-old said: “They were about 20 caravans all over the rec.

“I didn’t feel safe to walk my dog there and I was quite intimidated. There was a car driving around at high speed without any thought for people’s safety or the dog walkers.

“It was just a disgrace.”

When The Argus visited the site, car tracks could be seen all over the ground.

Other residents complained about being kept up by loud generators and children screaming in an area which has several bungalows with disabled and elderly residents.

Chris Servante, 57, of White Style Road, criticised Sussex Police’s response to the antisocial behaviour.

He said: “We had police here when the council served the eviction notice and there were four kids on quad bikes and nobody lifted a finger and the cars were doing it till three in the morning.”

A council spokesman said: “An unauthorised encampment of about 20 caravans and vehicles moved off Sompting Recreation Ground this morning after the police issued a section 61 order for them to leave the site.

“Our staff have been on site all day carrying out a clean-up operation.

“We will continue to monitor the situation and work with the local community to ensure the area is ready in time for the Sompting Splash festival this weekend.”