Travellers who moved onto land owned by Hertsmere Borough Council were moved on within 24 hours – because of an injunction covering council-owned land.

And now Cllr Seamus Quilty, Hertsmere’s executive member for environment and transport, is encouraging other councils  across Hertfordshire to follow their approach.

The injunction – which was granted by the High Court of Justice and which will last for three years – bans unauthorised encampments of travellers from 108 council-owned sites within Hertsmere.

It means any encampment on the sites can be moved on by the council, without the need for further court action.

Anyone who refuses to go could face arrest, committal to prison or an unlimited fine.

At a meeting of the Hertfordshire Waste Partnership, on Monday (April 29) Cllr Quilty said it meant they had been able to move on a group of travellers recently within 24 hours – whereas in the past it could have taken some time.

As a result of the speedy action, he said there had been less mess to clear from the site – just one gas canister in this case.

And he encouraged other councils to consider adopting a similar approach.

Outlining the benefits of the injunction, he said: “In the past when we’ve had travellers its cost a lot of money to clean up after them.

“I think this is a good idea, if others want to look at it. It would be a wise move for for all local authorities to stop these people destroying the Green Belt and parks. Some of the damage is horrendous.”

As well as covering residential encampments, the injunction granted to Hertsmere Borough Council also bans the disposal of waste on all 108 sites. These include parks, car parks and green spaces.