Kids play in filthy aftermath of Appleby Horse Fair as travellers leave fields strewn with rubbish

GYPSY kids can be seen playing in the rubbish that remains from the Appleby Horse Fair which took place this weekend.

Thousands turned out for the annual event at the Cumbrian village, which is the biggest gypsy festival in Europe.

Traveller children could be seen trampling through piles of rubbish left following the weekend's festivities.

Plastic bags, bin liners and cardboard boxes littered the ground after thousands of humans and horses descended on the Westmorland village for the six day festival.

In 2017 the cost to the taxpayer of policing and cleaning up after the fair was £230,090.

Overturned chemical toilets could be seen amongst the sea of rubbish, occasionally punctuated by the remaining caravans.

A digger had already been drafted in to help local council workers being the annual clean-up operation.

As well as the fair being an opportunity to buy and sell horses the event is also an opportunity for travellers to have fun and socialise.

£230,090 – cost to the taxpayer in 2017

The earliest record of the fair is in a charter from Henry II, dating from the 12th century, but it is believed to have an even longer tradition than that.

The Gypsy and Traveller attendees include British Romanichal, Irish Travellers, Scottish Gypsy and Welsh Gypsies known as Kale.

The fair is primarily about buying and selling horses but it is also an opportunity for travellers to swap tales and let their hair down, enjoying the socialising and friendly atmosphere.

Appleby Horse Fair history

The earliest record of the fair is in a charter from Henry II, dating from the 12th century, but it is believed to have been a longer tradition than that.

The fair attracts British Romanichal, Irish travellers, Scottish Gypsy and Traveller groups, Kale (Welsh Romanies) and more.

The 'New Fair', held on Gallows Hill, which was then enclosed land outside the borough boundary, began in 1775 for sheep and cattle drovers and horse dealers to sell stock.

By the 1900s it had evolved into a major Gypsy and Traveller occasion.

Sellers race and ride their horses up and down a main road to allow prospective buyers to assess their form and fitness.

The washing of the horses in the river Eden in preparation for their sale is a tradition that dates back to the 17th century.

There are usually around 1,000 and several hundred horses at the event, with the four-legged creatures being ridden up and down the motorway.

The RSPCA have put up signs around the area in partnership with Eden District Council to let revellers know that act of selling 'pets' in a public place or market is an offence.

Last year's festival saw 23 arrests, 17 crimes and 115 incidents logged by police.

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