'Keep children away from Shruggs Wood's water,' warns resident

A Leyland resident is warning children and their parents to beware of ongoing work in Shruggs Wood - amid concern about exposed areas of water.

Monday, 2nd March 2020, 6:40 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd March 2020, 9:06 pm
Tens of thousands of pounds is begin spent improving Shruggs Wood

Mike Cowburn, who has lived close to the beauty spot for more than 30 years, said he had often seen youngsters breaching a fence to play near a pond in a part of the site that is designated a biological heritage area.

But he told a meeting of South Ribble Borough Council that he feared the safety risks would rise now that the section has been opened up during major improvement works.

“There is a vast open network of drains in the wood [and] a deep pond,” Mr. Cowburn explained.

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“I've chased kids off that pond on numerous occasions, because they shouldn't have been playing there. It scares the hell out of me [what might happen] if a kid gets in there.”

“I’m also concerned about the open drains, one of which runs at right angles to the proposed [new] path, which in summer gets overgrown with weeds - and so you can’t tell there is a drain there,” he added.

Deputy council leader Mick Titherington said that he would take whatever action was necessary.

“I can assure council that if there are issues in relation to the health and safety of residents, they will be addressed,” he said.

The Post understands that a fence is likely to once again form part of the safety features in the area, along with a hedgerow in the longer term.

Work on Shruggs Wood began almost 12 months ago as part of the authority’s green links project. It has involved the removal of some diseased trees and efforts to rectify drainage problems.

A new three metre-wide footpath is being installed connecting Redwood Avenue to the centre of Shruggs Wood, while the existing central path is also being widened to match.

More than 2,200 new trees are also being planted in the area.

“At each stage, we have tried to explain what the council’s position is in relation to Shruggs Wood and the reasons behind felling some trees,” Cllr Titherington said.

“We are addressing those problems and...I hope when the work is finished that people of South Ribble will be able to enjoy walking through Shruggs Wood.”