Travellers who took up residence on a rugby field have moved on - leaving behind sewage, gas canisters and old settees.

Residents who live near the triangular Council-owned site between Station Road, Hodgson Lane and West Street at Drighlington are appalled by the mess which will have to be cleared by Leeds City Council.

About 60 travelling families, their caravans and trailers arrived on the site on Sunday and left on Thursday evening. Many were camped on a recently re-seeded rugby pitch and were asked to move onto common land. A Council officer visited the site several times and told the travellers they had to be away by today or enforcement action would follow.

After packing up and moving on, they left black bags full of rubbish, boxes, about 30 settees and armchairs, cans, cardboard and cushions strewn about the site. Much of the rubbish had blown across Station Road and become lodged in long grass.

An elderly couple who have lived in West Street for about 30 years said it is not the first time travellers have set up home on the field, but it has got worse in recent years. "The worst part about it is that they used the wall across from our house as their toilet," said the woman. "There is toilet paper all over the place.

"Articulated vans kept arriving with three-piece suites which were unloaded into the travellers' vans. They have been selling them up one of the estates in the village. The settees left in the field could be ones they took from people in exchange for a new one."

A spokesman from Morley fire station, which covers the Drighlington area, said the abandoned gas canisters are not at risk of causing an explosion, but could give a nasty burn if children play with them.

A spokesman for Leeds City Council's Leisure Services department said: "Leeds Leisure Services' Parks and Countryside staff are already on site clearing up the mess and will endeavour to clear the site by tomorrow, weather permitting."