Mystery as ground rises up at play area

A popular playground in Darlaston has been sealed off after the ground mysteriously raised up.

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Investigations are being carried out to find out what has caused the swelling of the ground at George Rose Park.

It has been spotted in the park’s play area, which is now closed and out of bounds to youngsters. Technicians were down at the site yesterday afternoon to carry out tests and investigations. The park, off Herberts Park Road, is currently undergoing a £300,000 revamp.

Walsall leisure chief Councillor Anthony Harris said: “A mound has appeared in the play area and we had geo-technicians going out yesterday (TUES) afternoon to investigate.

“As a precaution and in the interests of public safety we have closed the play area until those investigations have concluded.”

There are fears the problem may have been caused by a mineshaft due to Darlaston’s history of coal mining.

Chairman of the Friends of Darlaston South Parks Councillor Paul Bott said: “This mound is a mystery but there were lots of people there doing investigations.

“If it is a mineshaft, there will be grave concerns about the cost of filling it in and doing what needs to be done to reinstate it or find a new play area.

“I would urge people to keep out of there while it is closed off and the investigation has taken place.

“It is a popular play area and kids do use it a lot because there isn’t much else to do round there.”

Work on the £300,000 park revamp began earlier this year. Money is being ploughed into it to compensate for around half of the park being swallowed up by the new £27 million Darlaston Grace Academy.