There were mixed reactions from people in Weymouth as thousands of young farmers from across the south west flooded into town for their annual convention.

Around 1,500 young farmers from Dorset and neighbouring counties visited at the weekend to let their hair down and enjoy a host of activities at the Pavilion.

Many are known to use the weekend off from their agricultural responsibilities to enjoy a few drinks – but the alleged antics of some left local traders and residents concerned.

One Facebook user claimed it was "chaos" in town on Friday afternoon while others reported that some damage had been caused to some venues.

Despite this, Dorset Police – which carried out patrols in the town centre on Friday and Saturday night – said there were no reports of criminal damage or assault where young farmers were identified as the offenders.

And despite reports here had been damage caused to the toilets in The Swan pub on St Thomas Street, manager Kim Newstead it was "nothing that wouldn't happen on a normal night" and was supportive of the young farmers.

Some bars, including The Nook on the seafront and Finns on Westham Road, chose to ban entry to the groups on Saturday.

Fiona Penny, owner of Fiona Penny at Sunflowers on St Thomas Street, claimed some people who she believed to be young farmers had picked up some of her plants during the day and "thrown them down the street."

She said: "Why do we keep inviting them back? It's very intimidating for the older people and families out and about on a Saturday in Weymouth."

Andy Holder, a director at Fleetline Taxis, said: "The feeling is not good. We don't want them's not that kind of town. It's a bucket and spade town."

Other traders defended the young farmers saying it was "great" to have them in Weymouth.

David Hughes, owner of David the Jeweller in St Thomas Street, said: "They were no trouble, everyone is entitled to let their hair down."

Keith Treggiden, former Weymouth Pubwatch chairman and general manager of three venues in the town, said: "Of course there was a bit of furniture broken but they were well behaved. I've only had good reports from everyone that I have spoken to. Quite a few Pubwatch members didn't allow them into their venues and that's their choice. I'd welcome them back any time."

Young farmers clubs provide opportunities for young people to learn new skills and raise money for charities, which helps to tackle rural isolation and social exclusion.

A spokesman for the South West Area YFC said: "The event is organised 12 months in advance and we contact the police and pubs.

"Police did put on their social media a really positive post about the behaviour of the young farmers. We had members of our team who were on patrol, walking around and keeping an eye on things.

"It isn't just a partying weekend, it is a fantastic activities weekend. It's a lot of people hitting the town so I'm pleased with the way it all went.

"Going forward, we're not going to be reluctant to go back."

Sergeant Samuel Goom for Weymouth Neighbourhood Police said: “In the months leading up to the event, the organisers liaised with both Dorset Police and the council as part of their preparations. They also had a team of volunteers on standby to help and assist with any issues that arose throughout the weekend.

“We were aware of the significant increase in the number of people visiting the town and we ensured there were sufficient resources to deal with this. Our officers carried out proactive patrols during both evenings as is standard practice for the policing of the night-time economy in the town. These patrols were enhanced by colleagues from the Special Constabulary.

“Due to the general volume of people in the area some pubs did make the decision to restrict access so numbers were not exceeded and people remained safe.

“From speaking to local businesses the initial feedback I have received is that it was an extremely busy and profitable weekend.”