Beautyspot turned into a ' swamp'

Residents in Eccleston are furious after a beautiful pond was turned into a 'swamp'.

People living near Bradley Lane are worried that the owner of the land, developers Whittle Jones, are planning to build on the village playing fields.

David Walton, 66, of Bradley Lane, said the wildlife pond on the site was recently drained and left to become nothing more than a 'swamp'.

He said: "The area has been somewhat neglected and the pond has become a dump over the years.

"It used be known as the Newt Pond, because of all the newts and other wildlife which lived there, such as ducks and fish.

"There was a bench and lots of greenery and brambles surrounding the pond, but now it's all been fenced off and drained.

"It's just a swamp now."

A spokesperson for Whittle Jones, which is part of the Northern Trust group, didn't confirm or deny the rumours about building.

They said: "Lancashire County Council has been working on improving the hedges and ditches along Bradley Lane.

"As part of this process, Whittle Jones was notified by Lancashire County Council and local residents that the pond on Bradley Lane was overgrown and flooded.

"As a result, the pond has now been unblocked and has reduced to its original level. Part of the tidying up process has included the erection of a new fence around the perimeter."

* Full story in next week's Guardian

** christopher.maguire@lep.co.uk