Travellers set up at Lochside

Encampments were set up at several locations at the Lochside Country Park in the summer of 2014.

Encampments were set up at several locations at the Lochside Country Park in the summer of 2014.

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Travellers have returned to set up an illegal encampment next to a popular Forfar caravan park.

The group has established itself on land to the west of the Lochside Caravan Club site at Forfar Loch Country Park

Travellers camped at the lochside in the summer of 2014, one of several illegal encampments which appeared in the town. At the time concerns were raised over the dumping of waste in nearby undergrowth and dog walkers were warned to stay away from caravans because of a risk of dogs attacking their pets.

A Forfar woman this week expressed her own concerns after her boxer dog was allegedly attacked near the camp at the weekend.

Laura Mitchell said the black labrador sank its teeth into her dog’s hip and she is now facing a £240 vet’s bill for treatment.

Before 2013, police were able to move illegal campers or charge them with trespass butcamping illegally is now not considered criminality, so the landowner needs to get an eviction notice from the court which will only be issued if there is proof of mess, noise or any other significant nuisance.

Police Scotland said that due to the right to roam, contained within the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003, police could not take action against someone camping on council or private land.

An Angus Council spokesman said: “We are aware of the unauthorised encampment in the Forfar area and are monitoring it in accordance with policy and procedures.”