A VEGAN group have hit out at the man behind the fake vegan festival, saying he should "put his energy into helping people".

The creators behind (the real) Romsey Vegan Festival have slammed "Derick Dumper" for creating the hoax festival and have offered him the chance to come to their next festival.

Mr Dumper tricked a vegan stall to turn up to the event in Romsey Town Hall, as well as more than 40 people on a Facebook event.

When it came to the day in December, it was revealed the whole thing was a stunt pulled by Mr Dumper.

Now, Ruby and Amanda Watkins have slammed Mr Dumper and offered him the chance to try vegan food to right his wrong.

Ruby and her mum, Amanda, are hosting this year's Winchester Vegan Festival on January 19.

Ruby said: "The annual event is to celebrate Veganuary and will always be held in Winchester due to its rise in popularity.

"We promote love and compassion.

"To the hoax - may you find happiness and love and may you be contented enough not to want to taunt others."

Amanda added: "Shame he can’t put his energy into helping people. Such a waste."

The pair have also offered Derick Dumper free vegan food and an invite to their next event in Winchester.

Ruby said this is to prove that he can side with the group, rather than going against them.

She added: "We plan to definitely host another event in Romsey for Christmas if we can hire either the town hall or similar venue.

"The hoax has inspired us to come back to Romsey once a year so visitors who were interested in fake festival, can come to a real one."

The Winchester Vegan fair will take place on January 19 in Winchester Guildhall between 10.30am and 3.30pm.

It will include a number of stalls, ethical companies and a zero waste movement.

They will also invite homeless people to the fair for free admission and food, as well as soup and crusty bread.

Amanda added: "Let’s hope Derick Dumper one day has the same ethos - he could be putting his energy into something positive and helping others."