A group of travellers who broke into a derelict site at the weekend have moved on.

Four vehicles and two caravans pitched up on the former Directors Arms pub site in Ripon Way, Borehamwood, yesterday.

There are reports the travellers broke a padlock to break onto the land.

The land is sitting empty after the pub building was demolished last month.

Borehamwood Times:

Directors Arms before it was demolished

However, the travellers' stay was short-lived because Hertsmere Borough Council exercised their special powers to move them on without having to go to court.

Council officers and police attended and the group were moved on just before midday today (Monday) - but the council says a van and a large amount of fly tipping has been left behind.

A council spokesperson said: "Four motor vehicles and two caravans illegally entered the former Director’s Arms pub site in Borehamwood, which we own and manage, around 7pm on Sunday October 20.

"Our officers attended the site this morning with police and the group were successfully moved on just before midday.

"A white Ford transit van with false number plates, was left behind, as well as a large amount of flytipping. We have issued a 24 hour removal notice on the van, and plan to remove it tomorrow.

"Extra security measures have been put in place to prevent further incursions and contractors will be brought in to clear the site shortly. We’ve also passed on information to the Environment Agency as we believe this incident could be linked to similar incursions in the area.

"Thanks to an injunction protecting council-owned sites which we successfully secured at the beginning of this year, we are able to deal with incursions such as this promptly and minimise disruption to the public."

Last year, the council were granted an injunction which bans encampment on any council-owned sites. It also means they have the power to move people on without having to apply for court orders.

Borehamwood Times:

Travellers in nearby Ripon Park, last year

Borehamwood Times:

Ripon Park has since been protected with posts, costing the council tens of thousands of pounds

This incident follows an encampment at a private car park in Elstree last month, which saw heaps of flytipping left behind.

Labour councillor Michelle Vince, who visited the former pub site in Borehamwood shortly after the travellers arrived, said: "This has to stop. We cannot keep having this traveller insurgence that can cost the council money to clear up especially when we are seeing cuts to key services.

"Their behaviour is giving the local travelling community a bad name."