A large group of travellers who have caused "considerable shock and upset" to a community could be here all week.

St Albans District Council and Hertfordshire Constabulary are both aware of a large encampment in Sandridge Road, Bernards Heath, north of St Albans.

The group arrived on Friday evening and legal action to move them on began yesterday.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

A number of police officers were called to the scene on Friday.

There are several caravans parked up across the field.

On social media, people have reported issues since the travellers turned up. Police have confirmed that two boys tried to break into a Londis store in Sandridge Road at around 2pm on Saturday - but has not confirmed if the incident is linked to the traveller encampment.

St Albans & Harpenden Review:

Marshalswick ward councillor Helen Campbell has been down to the site in Bernards Heath and said the group has caused "considerable shock and upset" to the community.

She said: "This is a well-loved and well-used community asset and beauty spot which a lot of local residents go to great lengths to look after, together with the council, and it is very upsetting to see it abused like this. I sympathise hugely with the local residents and others who enjoy the heath, and with the local businesses who have suffered.

"The council’s parks and green spaces team have visited to assess the situation; in the interests of safety and environmental health, they are already cleaning up parts of the site and will of course undertake a fuller clean-up operation after the Travellers have been moved on or leave of their own accord.

"We will be having discussions with local community groups including the Friends of Bernards Heath about options to prevent this reoccurring."

Police say they are working with the council to resolve the situation.

The travellers are expected to be served with a notice to leave by St Albans Magistrates' Court this week which will tell they need to leave within 24 hours. Alternatively, the group could leave at their own accord.

A spokeswoman for Hertfordshire Constabulary said: "We've received numerous reports in relation to unauthorised encampments in St Albans and Dacorum on Saturday 1 June.

"Vehicles were first reported to be moving onto land off Sandridge Road, St Albans, shortly before 8pm on Friday, May 31. Then further reports were received on Saturday at 2.30pm of vehicles on land near Galley Hill, Hemel Hempstead.

"We are aware of the situation and are working with district, borough and county councils in order to resolve it. In the meantime, thank you for your patience.

"If you witness a crime or anti-social behaviour, you can report online at www.herts.police.uk/Report, or call 101 or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555111."