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Young mother loses part of her Norwich garden to sinkhole

PUBLISHED: 11:18 26 July 2019 | UPDATED: 14:47 26 July 2019

Norwich City Council have erected a six foot fence around the sinkhole. Picture: Rebecca Springall

Norwich City Council have erected a six foot fence around the sinkhole. Picture: Rebecca Springall

Archant

It's a juggle for any young working mother when the children are on school holidays.

The sinkhole is the size of four patio slabs. Picture: Rebecca SpringallThe sinkhole is the size of four patio slabs. Picture: Rebecca Springall

But for Rebecca Springall, mother to two sons aged six and seven, the summer has got a lot more challenging after a sinkhole opened up in her garden on Pettus Road in Norwich last Friday morning.

The sinkhole, which is around the size of four patio slabs, has put the catering assistant's entire garden at the back of her council-owned house out of action and now she has nowhere to entertain her children during the heatwave.

The 26-year-old said: "The kids have just started their summer holidays and they love to play football and swim in our paddling pool, especially in this heat. But they can't go in the garden at all now so I have to take them to the park every day.

"It's also dangerous as they are still little so I've had to cover it with a wooden plank."

A bus which fell into a sinkhole on Earlham Road, Norwich in March 1988. Harrison Group Environmental, which is based in the city, investigated the cause of the sinkhole. Picture: Archant archivesA bus which fell into a sinkhole on Earlham Road, Norwich in March 1988. Harrison Group Environmental, which is based in the city, investigated the cause of the sinkhole. Picture: Archant archives

A 6ft fence has also been erected around the area by Norwich City Council following an investigation of the sinkhole on Friday morning.

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Ms Springall does not know when to expect the sinkhole to disappear and Nthe city council has been contacted for a comment.

East Anglia has a long history of sinkholes.

The most famous sinkhole opened up on Earlham Road in 1988 and swallowed a double-decker bus - hitting headlines worldwide.

It occurred after a medieval chalk mine collapsed, but fortunately the driver and passengers managed to escape before damage was caused.

More recently, there have been sinkholes in Sheringham's High Street, the A47 in Lowestoft and Muspole Street in Norwich this year.

Professor Julian Andrews from the University of East Anglia's school of environmental science, said that East Anglia is susceptible to two main types of sinkholes: smaller ones under roads, and bigger, naturally occurring sinkholes where chalk bedrock is present.

The 59-year-old added that these 'natural' sinkholes can extend to tens of metres and cause houses to collapse.

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