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Looking like something out of an apocalyptic movie, a gigantic sinkhole has opened up in the middle of a popular playing field in Buckinghamshire.
The natural phenomenon, which arrives amid heavy rainfall across the UK, only continued to grow as staff from Wooburn and Bourne End Parish Council arrived to inspect it.
It was first discovered by shocked dog-walker Lesley James, 50, who stopped in her tracks when she came across the estimated 40-foot-deep hole at Sappers Field on Saturday (29 February).
Despite only being three to four feet wide, she described the hole as a 'cavern' in depth.
"It was only when I went right up to it that I saw how much the ground has given way," she explained.
"It was a bit scary, because I didn't know if there was anything underneath where I was standing.
"I could see that the ground was stable on the other side, because I could see a ridge supporting it - but I thought, 'Oh god, what if I'm standing on nothing?'"
Lesley added: "Luckily me and the dog were the only ones in the field at the time.
"I put a wooden pallet over the top of the hole to warn other people, until the experts came along."
Lesley revealed that she had 'no idea' what may have caused the sinkhole to open up, but said it may have given way following stormy weather.
Little did the dog-walker realise that the six-acre field was created by a group of Royal Engineers on the site of a council landfill which had featured a number of old wells.
The brickworks were filled in by army engineers to create a recreational area, unaware that it would end with a gigantic sinkhole in the years to come.
After calling local authorities, the parish council was left with no choice but to cordon off the whole park and install security fences around the hole until it can come up with a solution.
Parish councillor Malcolm Silver said it will take a 'long, long time' to fix the hole - and that it is continuing to grow in depth.
"The site was originally a brickworks, and after the war it was filled in by sappers - soldiers who did not have jobs," he explained.
"However, there is running water underneath it, and we think that over time that water has washed away all the stuff used to fill in the site.
"There is now a big cavern under the field - which is today used as a park, with a football field and playground.
"We think it is now bigger than 40 foot deep. We threw something down it to see how long it would take to hit the bottom, and it took three seconds - so it is definitely growing.
"It's probably a combination of the recent wet weather and the fact there were three old wells on the site that has led to the sinkhole."
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