LARGE piles of rubbish have been found after travellers who set up an illegal encampment moved on over the weekend.

A group of around eight caravans first moved onto the bottom car park at Oakwell Hall country park in Birstall over a week and half ago.

Kirklees Council had been due to go to court to gain the necessary eviction order at Huddersfield County Court forcing the travellers to leave the land.

But this became unnecessary after the group left of their own accord on Saturday early evening.

One councillor, who attempted to block their entrance using her car when they first arrived, said she was informed by a nearby resident that they had left.

Clr Holmes, who represents nearby Liversedge and Gomersal ward for the Conservatives, said she feared the convoy had been heading to Bradford when they were last seen leaving Oakwell on Saturday evening.

“I checked around the usual spots where we have had problems with travellers in my ward before, but there was nothing.”

Mark Thompson, who represents Birstall and Birkenshaw for the Conservatives, confirmed that the site, which is used by families and dog walkers, had been left in a mess.

“There were about 20 or so black bin bags piled up with some of them broken open when I was there on Monday morning.

“There were mattresses and burned out material, as well as excrement.

“I’ve spoken to the Council and they are sending someone to clear it up and soon as possible,” he added.

The weekly parkrun at Oakwell has to be cancelled at the weekend.

The gypsy and travellers section on the Council’s website had stated that they were aware of the encampment and that a welfare visit had been undertaken.

Yesterday this was updated to say: “The travellers have vacated the car park and we will make necessary arrangements to clear the site.”

Karl Battersby, Strategic Director for Economy and Infrastructure at Kirklees Council, said: “The encampment on Oakwell Hall Park has now gone. We began legal proceedings to evict the people occupying the site but they moved on before the eviction date.

“Unfortunately rubbish has been left behind at the site but a clean-up of the area has been arranged. It’s very disappointing that people can show such disregard for our communities. Littering and fly-tipping is selfish and lazy.”

Cllr Holmes had barred the entrance to the 16th century country park using her car to block and entrance. But when she called police to the scene they told her to move.

Councillor Holmes is standing in the forthcoming local elections for the Liversedge and Gomersal ward, alongside Jude McKaig (Lab), David Snee (Lib Dem), Nicholas Whittingham (Green).