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Rutland Showground in Oakham cleaned up after hosting travellers for Light and Life festival




The Rutland Showground site has been cleaned after hosting a group of travellers for six days.

The Rutland Agricultural Society, which owns the Rutland Showground, had accepted a booking for its site on the edge of Oakham from St Hilda’s Church, Darlington to run a Christian festival from June 19 to 24.

Residents and businesses made hundreds of complaints to the police throughout the week as the attendees caused "absolute carnage" around the town.

Rutland Showground is cleared after the Light and Life festival which took place from June 19 to 24
Rutland Showground is cleared after the Light and Life festival which took place from June 19 to 24

There were reports of drag racing, shoplifting and antisocial behaviour, which forced some shops to close their doors and schools warning children not to walk alone.

On Friday morning (June 25), a large number of caravans remained pitched up at the showground while cars finally began to leave the site.

Police officers were blocking vehicles from re-entering as motorists gradually began to exit.

Rutland Showground is cleared after the Light and Life festival which took place from June 19 to 24
Rutland Showground is cleared after the Light and Life festival which took place from June 19 to 24

Rutland resident, Carl Ford, 55, said: "The vast majority of them have been well behaved but a small number of them have caused absolute chaos.

"We will be glad to see the back of this event, which hasn't been well marshalled from the start.

"Last weekend was the worst but police did start clamping down on things over the following days.

"I saw somebody say it like something from Mad Max and that was no exaggeration for that opening weekend.

Rutland Showground is cleared after the Light and Life festival which took place from June 19 to 24
Rutland Showground is cleared after the Light and Life festival which took place from June 19 to 24

"Most people have been locked down in their own homes again until this all passes over."

The event, in 45 acres of fields, was hosted for 1,500 adults and children in their own motor homes and caravans.

However, Leicestershire Police said they received more than 100 calls regarding the event, mainly about anti-social behaviour and Covid-19 breaches.

Rutland Showground is cleared after the Light and Life festival which took place from June 19 to 24
Rutland Showground is cleared after the Light and Life festival which took place from June 19 to 24

Another resident, who did not want to be named, said earlier in the week: “I work on the street and live quite close by to the showground.

“I’ve heard how they’ve been weeing in people’s gardens and then running through the high street banging on windows.

“It’s been chaos and then there’s the added traffic and all of their rubbish that they’re just leaving around.

“They just seem to be dumping their rubbish and running riot around the town.

“It’s a quiet place and we’ve only got a little high street but they’ve still found ways to cause havoc.”



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