A LARGE group of travellers has moved onto a field in Rayleigh.

Residents spotted around 20 caravans moving onto the field next to Rayleigh Leisure Centre last night.

Residents reported that the group also included many other vehicles and a pony.

Hayley Bloomfield, clerk to Rawreth Parish Council, posted that Rochford Council and Essex Police were aware of the situation.

Police officers were spotted this morning at the site.

It is understood that the field on Priory Chase was set to be used by the army as a Covid-19 testing centre today.

It is not clear if the arrival of the group will affect this.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We were called shortly after 8.40pm with reports of an unauthorised encampment on land in Priory Chase, Rayleigh.

"Officers attended and liaised with representatives from the local authority, which owns the land. We continue to monitor the situation."

Rochford District Council has been contacted for comment.