TRAVELLERS have finally left Kings Meadow after the encampment refused to depart the field for days after a court had ordered the community to leave. 

The last remaining homes of the 15-strong caravan group left at around 3.30pm on Wednesday, October 13.

Their departure date comes more than a month on from when they arrived on the football pitches on Saturday, September 11. 

READ MORE: Travellers told to leave after court orders group's departure

Reading Chronicle:

The group’s presence on the site has meant children’s football games have been cancelled for five weeks. 

Despite leaving Kings Meadow, it appeared the group left lots of rubbish on the field. 

Pictures and videos showed the following items remaining on the football pitches: 

  • A fridge
  • Gas canisters
  • Copies of the court order handed to the group by Reading Borough Council
  • A singular show
  • Wooden furniture
  • A pint glass
  • A BMX bike and children’s push toys
  • Several large plastic containers
  • Plastic bottles, cardboard and paper

Reading Chronicle:

The ground was covered in tyre marks that appear to have been left by the caravans driving on to the field. 

There are also patches of scorched earth left by what appears to have been fires lit by the group. 

A report from the Reading Chronicle revealed travellers cost taxpayers more than £300,000 in the past five years. 

Reading Chronicle:

This included legal fees, clean up costs and repair expenses. 

READ MORE: The yearly cost of travellers who camp out in Reading borough

The group’s removal was ordered by Reading Magistrates’ Court on Friday, October 8 when a judge approved Reading Borough Council’s Section 78 (Criminal Justice and Public Order Act) application. 

Reading Chronicle:

This gave the travellers 24 hours to leave the site or face prosecution. 

However, the group did not leave until Wednesday, October 13. 

Council bosses had tried to remove the group from Kings Meadow three days after they first arrived. 

Reading Chronicle:

An officer first visited the site on September 14 to tell the group the field was council-owned and they have to leave.

By September 20, the council handed the travellers a written direction ordering them to leave under Section 77 of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act.

Reading Chronicle:

The group did not vacate the meadows, forcing Reading Borough Council to apply for the Section 78 order.