RESIDENTS have complained after a large group of travellers set up camp in a Carlisle park next to a housing estate.

About nine campers and caravans with a large number of associated cars and vans arrived on Thursday evening at the park at Low Moor Avenue, off Durdar Road, Blackwell.

It follows another incident on Wednesday night when a similar-sized group set up in a car park nearby at Carlisle Racecourse.

It is believed the travellers arrived at the park between 4.30pm and 5pm on Thursday.

The News & Star attended the site yesterday morning when four police officers were present and speaking to the travellers.

One resident, who does not want to be named, said: “They arrived yesterday, there was a lot of them and they were driving around the park. They were very noisy – the police came and there was a lot of them as well.”

Another said: “They [the travellers] are a nightmare.”

A police spokeswoman said: “We are aware following reports made to us by the public, that a group of travellers are currently unlawfully residing in the Low Moor Avenue area of Carlisle.

“We are working with the local authorities to see what options are open to us to deal with this situation.

“Officers will be attending the area to liaise with the travellers to understand their intentions before we decide what route we take with the options that are available to use.”

It is unclear if they are the same group of travellers that were in the nearby South Car Park near the main entrance at Carlisle Racecourse, also on Durdar Road, on Wednesday night.

A nearby resident said: “There were about 10 caravans that came for one night.”

Another said that there were people clearing the site after they left yesterday.

The racecourse has confirmed that on Wednesday evening a group had broken the locks on the gates of the car park and had stayed there for 14 hours before they were moved on.

The racecourse has now taken further measures including padlocking the gates and placing concrete barriers in front of them to stop a recurrence.

In March it was announced that the famous Appleby Horse Fair will not take place this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, only the second time in 250 years that the event has been called off (the last time was in 2001 during the Foot and Mouth outbreak).

It was scheduled to take place on June 4 to 7 and is traditionally the largest gathering of the Gypsy, Romany and Traveller community in Europe.

Organisers took the decision to follow Government advice.