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A group of travellers has set up camp in John Leigh Park

A group of travellers has set up camp in John Leigh Park.

A group of travellers has set up camp in John Leigh Park.

The group arrived last night, taking advantage of a broken stone barrier in order to gain entrance from the Hartley Road end.

At least 12 vehicles, including six caravans, are occupying a field close to the tennis courts, with some small children among the group.

Travellers at John Leigh Park this afternoon

When approached by Altrincham Today and asked how long they were planning on staying, one said “one to two weeks” while another said “five weeks”. They would not say where they have moved on from.

Trafford Council is aware of the travellers’ arrival and is understood to be assessing the situation with Greater Manchester Police. A spokesperson for GMP said it was a matter for the local authority.

Friends of John Leigh Park, the local society that looks after the 102-year-old which was gifted to Altrincham by Sir John Leigh, said the repair of the gateway was now “more urgent than ever”.

The damaged Hartley Road entrance where the travellers arrived

A statement on its Facebook page read: “We have visitors on the park. They arrived late last evening – accessing via the Hartley Road Gateway which has been awaiting repair for 3 years. We hope their stay will be short and peaceful. The need for the repair of the gateway is more urgent than ever.”

A separate group of travellers last set up camp in the park in August 2015. On that occasion, they were given a 24-hour notice to leave by GMP after a day, and moved on after two days.

The following March, in 2016, a group of travellers lasted a week at the historic Linotype Works building before being moved on. On that occasion however, the land was privately owned by Morris Homes.

At least 12 vehicles were camped on John Leigh Park this afternoon