A NEW group of travellers has set up camp at Hilltop playing fields in Little Lever this afternoon.

Five caravans and other vehicles have been spotted on the fields this afternoon, and a council officer has already visited the camp to serve them with a notice to leave.

It is understood the camp is travelling to the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria, an annual gathering of travellers, which runs from June 5 to June 11.

Cllr Paul Richardson, Little Lever and Darcy Lever's newly elected UKIP councillor, said: “I have had several calls from local residents about this already.

“The traveller liaison officer from the town hall has been up straight away and I saw him handing out bits of paper to the people in the camp.

“We don’t want this in Little Lever - we have got a traveller camp site down in Hall Lane.

“There is no need for them to use the playing fields.”

Cllr Richardson said residents are concerned after the playing fields were visited by travellers four or five years ago and left it untidy when the camp moved on.

The Little Lever arrival follows a visit made by a group of travellers to Moss Bank Park on May 20.

Bolton Council issued them with a 24-hour notice to leave the area, prompting them to move to the car park of the former Homebase shop in Manchester Road on May 23.

They then briefly visited Leverhulme Park on May 24 before leaving Bolton.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “A group of travellers has set up camp in Little Lever.

“We have served a notice to them to leave within 24 hours and if they do not we will be applying to the magistrates court for a summons.”