A GROUP of travellers who pitched up on Selsley Common late last night have been told by police and Stroud District Council they must leave within 24 hours.

The travellers who are believed to be from Ireland have rested their caravans and vehicles right in the middle of a popular dog walking route.

One local dog walker said: “They must have arrived late last night because I was here until 5pm.

“When I came up to walk my dog this morning around 20 caravans were right in the middle of the common.

“It’s incredibly frustrating because I want to walk my usual route but can't through fear of being harassed.”

Another dog walker also stated his displeasure and the new arrivals, citing the pollution they might cause to the area.

“When travellers settle themselves down they will leave allsorts lying around, including rubbish and even human excrement.

“If they do that this time the whole area will have to be decontaminated and that could take weeks.”

Police were informed of the issue at 6.45am this morning and along with the district council have told the travellers they must leave by 10am tomorrow.

A Police spokesperson said: “Police have been sent to speak to the travellers and the law was laid down regarding the nature reserve aspects of the common.

Stroud District Council takes some responsibility for the common and they released the following statement.

“Council and police officers visited the site this morning and gave the travellers notice to move on within 24 hours.

“They have assured us they will comply, however, if they are still there at 10am tomorrow, the police will serve further notice and forcibly move them on them if necessary.”

An SNJ reporter visited the site to take pictures and ask for a comment from the travellers.

He was told in no uncertain terms that if he did not leave there would be consequences.