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Travellers set up camp in Hesketh Park, Dartford

Travellers were served an eviction notice after setting up camp in a park.

Travellers elsewhere in Kent
Travellers elsewhere in Kent

Police were called just after 9pm last night after caravans were spotted in Hesketh Park, Park Road, Dartford.

Officers visited last night to speak to the group, and this morning council officers asked them to leave.

The travellers were served with an eviction notice and had until midday to move on. Council officers and police remained at the scene until the travellers left.

Police were called to an earlier report of travellers on land at Goals, Dartford, at about 7.40pm last night.

They spoke to the group who said they were taking a "pit-stop" on their way to Birmingham. It is not clear if it was the same group at Hesketh Park.

One eye witness said: "Approximately nine caravans have moved into the cricket pitch area. Today on my way to work I saw one of them urinating on the grass area. I spoke with the council who advised they are sending an enforcement team."

Hesketh Park has been home to Dartford Cricket Club since the start of the 20th century.

It is named after businessman Everard Hesketh, who donated two and a half acres of land to the town to preserve it for the use of local people forever. It was opened in April 1904.

A year later, Mr Hesketh bought neighbouring land to be used as a sports ground and in 1905 he bowled the first over in an inaugural cricket match.

County cricket was once played at Hesketh Park. The first match, Kent v Essex, was played in 1956. A further 32 first class matches were played there until 1990. The biggest attendance was 3,750, when Kent played another local derby against Essex in 1985.

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