TRAVELLERS who set up camp at Blackburn cemetery have now left.

Council bosses served the group with a notice to leave after they arrived at Pleasington playing fields in Blackburn.

The group, who are believed to have arrived on Pleasington playing fields on Monday evening in four caravans, a motorhome and two people carriers, set up tables and chairs, hung up washing and left children's toys strewn across the field.

On Wednesday, when it was reported that two more vans had arrived on the field overnight the council served them with a notice to leave, when they had not left after 24 hours, the police attended.

A spokesman from Blackburn with Darwen council said: "The travellers have now left the cemetery as of 8pm last night.

"The height restriction barrier has had the padlock replaced and an extra one put on to deter further interference."

The site, which was described by the council spokesman as a "reasonable mess" was cleaned this morning.

Residents and community leaders have slammed the travellers for 'disrespecting the dead' and said it was shocking they were still able to get on to the land.

Pensioner Marion Whalley who alerted the Lancashire Telegraph to the travellers presence after she saw them as she visited her parents' grave on Monday, said: "We need a proper solution to this, the law needs changing.

"The people at the cemetery do a really excellent job, but there's only so much they can do.

"We need to start working with the council rather than against them to get this resolved.

"There's something wrong when people can just get on your land and please themselves.

"I wouldn't be surprised if there are people saying things have been stolen from the graves."