A GROUP of travellers has refused to leave a football pitch in Abingdon.

The fleet of about 20 vehicles was told to leave the site, off Audlett Drive, by midday today after moving there last week.

But Oxfordshire County Council's Gypsy and Traveller service visited the pitch earlier to find the camp still there.

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The council is now seeking an eviction order at Oxford Magistrates' Court, with a hearing booked for Monday, April 15.

UPDATE - Police welcome new powers to move travellers to different areas 

Several residents have complained about the encampment, with one saying he saw 'up to 30 caravans, cars and vans' at its height.

Watch: Travellers arrive at Kassam Stadium and science park

A county council spokesperson said: "We were notified late on Thursday, March 28, of the arrival of a group of Travellers at the football pitch off Audlett Drive.

"They were visited by our Gypsy and Traveller service on March 29 and issued with the formal notice that they were trespassing and issued with the council code of conduct.

"Welfare and health checks were completed. On April 2 they were served with a direction to leave by 12pm on Thursday, April 4.

"The Travellers have not complied with the direction to leave so we are seeking an eviction order at Oxford Magistrates’ Court.

"We are continuing to make regular visits."