PEOPLE have been warned not to attempt to clean up after a group of travellers because rubbish left behind includes 'hazardous items and human excrement'.

Caravans occupying part of the Great Western Park estate in Didcot finally left over the bank holiday weekend after staying on the site for two weeks.

Members of the local residents' association had previously pledged to organise a litter pick to help return the green spaces on the site back to normal.

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However they are now being warned to stay away because the area is potentially dangerous due to the dumped waste.

A update posted on the GWPRA website read: "A good number of residents have kindly volunteered to clean up the mess.

"Please don’t attempt this; the rubbish includes commercial waste, human excrement and other potentially hazardous items.

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"The landowner, Taylor Wimpey, has already arranged for the professional removal and clean-up of the area.

"This will likely take several days to complete, so please continue to avoid, especially if you have children or pets with you."

Since April 22, travellers have been camped out on either side of the road by the entrance to the housing estate, off the A4130.

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A host of problems have been reported in connection with the group including dogs and horses roaming free, people bathing in public ponds and naked children running across a busy road.

Heavy machinery, tree-cutting equipment and a bird of prey were seen in the camp during its first week.

Residents have now reported that mattresses and bags of rubbish have been left scattered over the green fields of the estate after the travellers left.

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Taylor Wimpey, which still owns the land because it hasn't yet been transferred to the council, is now facing an expensive clean-up bill.

A spokeswoman said: "The remaining groups of travellers have now moved on from our Great Western Park development.

"We followed all the appropriate procedures to secure their eviction at the earliest opportunity and will clean up any mess left at the site as soon as possible.

"We are in ongoing discussions with the relevant authorities to seek agreement on further preventative measures."

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Numerous sites across Oxfordshire have been left in similar states of disarray by travellers over the past few years.

In January, it was revealed that 60 illegal encampments set up across 2018 cost the taxpayer more than £100,000 in clean-up and legal bills.

Litter including gas drums, animal cages, broken chairs and clothing were left strewn across the Water Eaton park-and-ride site in Kidlington in December 2018.

Attention has now turned to preventing caravans from moving back into the same area in Great Western Park again with the residents association calling for more 'defensive measures' to be put in place and for changes in legislation.

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In a poll on the group's Facebook page, 235 people supported calls for more action to be taken as opposed to the 15 who said nothing should be done.

The group's update added: "The GWPRA will continue to work with the landowners, district councils and police to prevent a re-occurrence of the illegal encampment.

"This will take the form of physical defensive measures, court orders in place and push for a change in legislation to give greater powers of enforcement to protect the GWP public open spaces long term.

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"Thank you to all who reported crimes and suspicious activity to the police and informed the rest of the community.

"Remaining vigilant and looking out for your neighbours helps minimise the impact and reinforces the great community spirit we have here in Great Western Park."

The Government plans to increase powers to deal with the issue including lowering the number of vehicles needed to be classed as an illegal encampment from six or more to two or more.

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