FARNHAM has been targeted by four separate traveller incursions this week - with up to a hundred caravans and motorhomes pitching up at both Heath End and Weybourne recreation grounds, Farnham Park and Dogflud Way car park.

The first incursion took place in Heath End on the evening of Thursday, July 13, when a padlock securing a metal gate at the Upper Weybourne Lane playing fields was broken open and around 40 caravans and motor homes flooded onto the site.

This was followed by an additional incursion of around 30 caravans at Farnham Park near the ranger’s office on the evening of Sunday and the return of around 14 travellers’ vehicles to the Dogflud Way car park on Tuesday evening.

The latest incursion targeted Weybourne recreation ground on Wednesday morning.

It comes just months after Waverley was forced to hire professional bailiffs to evict an illegal caravan encampment from the Farnham Leisure Centre car park in April, at a total cost of more than £3,400 to the taxpayer.

Numerous caravans also gained access to Weybourne recreation ground in August last year, leaving a trail of destruction in their wake - including thousands of pounds of damage to the Badshot Lea Football Club facilities.

Waverley, which manages all four sites targeted this week, has served summons on the Heath End and Farnham Park traveller incursions, and a hearing was set to take place at Guildford Magistrates’ Court at 2pm on Wednesday, after The Herald went to press.

However, the travellers vacated Heath End recreation ground on Wednesday morning, leaving just the Farnham Park incursion facing court action.

The borough council has also put “additional security measures” in place at some of its other parks and green spaces to prevent further incursions, including laying large tree trunks in front of the entrances to Wrecclesham and Hale recreation grounds.

Cars have also been parked behind the gates at Farnham Rugby Club in Monkton Lane to ensure they cannot be forced open.

A Waverley spokesman said on Wednesday: “Once necessary checks have taken place, toilets and bins will be provided to keep the sites as clear as possible. Once the incursions leave, the council will arrange clear up operations at each site.”

According to members of the traveller community responding to posts on Facebook, hundreds of travellers are flocking to the area ahead of a funeral for 20-year-old Quhey Saunders who died after a fight at Cobham Services on June 26.

But many residents living near the incursions, especially in Heath End, have also taken to Facebook to complain of loud noises lasting throughout the night - including reports of quad bikes, dogs barking and generators.

One Heath End resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told The Herald on the morning after the caravans gained access to the recreation ground: “Our beautiful field at Heath End has been ransacked.

“The police were there last night but couldn’t do anything apparently and will now have to go to court, the field is used for so much and will now be ruined!

“They stormed the metal gate last night and was screaming and shouting and beeping horns till god knows what time.

“Horrible before the summer hols are going to start, and for all the kids camps and men’s football club etc and for us as residents are hardly going to be able to use it now.”

Several Facebook users have also offered to help the council clear up the mess left by the travellers, to save further taxpayers funds being wasted.