‘Dangerous swamp’ raises villagers’ fears children could be harmed

Banwell Parish Councillors are calling on authorities to tackle the 'Riverside swamp'.

Banwell Parish Councillors are calling on authorities to tackle the 'Riverside swamp'. - Credit: Archant

Villagers are pleading for authorities to take action after a ‘swamp’ formed yards from a busy road and a children’s play area.

Banwell Parish Council has urged North Somerset Council to get to the bottom of what is causing flooding on the green at Riverside.

A large wet patch – labelled the ‘Riverside swamp’ by villagers – has grown on the edge of the green, adjacent to a children’s play area, over recent years leaving the area boggy and ‘dangerous’.

Water has begun pouring into the road with a large puddle stretching almost to the other side, no matter the weather.

The cause of the issue remains unknown, and the parish council feels more must be done by the authorities to solve the problem.

Chairman Jimmy Weston said the issue has been allowed to fester for five years, and villagers are ‘very concerned for safety’.

He added: “If nothing’s done, over the winter there will be one big ice patch across the road.

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“This road is a rat run. Hundreds of cars use it at peak times.

“We want something done, but water has just been tested and that’s as far as it goes. At the moment we’re not getting any information from anybody.

“North Somerset has been ignoring our emails and we’re not getting any response from them.

“It’s also rotting the fence around the play area, which the parish council is going to end up footing the bill for.”

Parish councillor Emma Perrett told the Mercury she is concerned for the safety of children using the play area who could fall in the bog, and fellow councillor Paul Blatchford believes the council has left it in a hazardous state.

He said: “We were pleased North Somerset came, dug a hole and did some investigation, but they’ve left it in a dangerous situation.

“There’s no fence or warning notices. They should have done something with this mess and not allowed it for children to fall in.”

North Somerset Council plans to take a closer look at the issue.

A spokesman said: “Bristol and Wessex Water have taken samples of the water to identify the source and we have also taken samples from the River Banwell and a nearby spring to try and clarify the situation.

“We are waiting for these results before we can investigate further.”