What's going on?! Fencing remains nine months after giant sinkhole spotted

The site of the sinkhole in the Frere Road park remains fenced off nine months on

The site of the sinkhole in the Frere Road park remains fenced off nine months on - Credit: Ben Hardy

Barriers remain in place around a giant sinkhole which opened up in a city park nine months ago. 

The hole, located on the field next to the Frere Road Community Centre in Heartsease, has been filled with topsoil, gravel and sand.

But the safety hazard remains cordoned off after police were first alerted to the hole in March. 

A sinkhole has appeared in the park on Frere Road, Norwich

This sinkhole appeared in the Frere Road park in March - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

The Frere Road park is often used for ball games and dog walking with the fencing now a familiar sight in the green space. 

One 60-year-old woman walking near the park, who did not wish to be named, said: "I just took my dog in the park and you have to get used to walking around it.

"Norwich is known for its sinkholes. You do not see the council much around here though." 

Fencing remains in place to cordon off a part of the Frere Road park 

Fencing remains in place to cordon off a part of the Frere Road park - Credit: Ben Hardy

Locals in the estate told the Evening News about stories of garden gates sinking into the ground - with one woman even seeing half of her kitchen slump into the turf.

The city has a history of sinkholes occurring where chalk bedrock is near the surface

From the middle ages, through to the beginning of the Second World War, Norwich was mined for chalk and flint and today many of the mines, believed to have been dug between the 12th and 18th centuries, still remain underneath the city.

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Most famously, in 1988 a chalk mine collapsed under Earlham Road, with a major sinkhole forming which swallowed a double decker bus.

The memorable day a bus fell down a hole in Earlham Road in Norwich - 3rd March 1988.Photo: Adrian J

The memorable day a bus fell down a hole in Earlham Road in Norwich - 3rd March 1988.Photo: Adrian Judd © Archant (01603) 772434 - Credit: Adrian Judd © Archant

The city council said the sinkhole in Frere Road appeared to be caused by underlying chalk eroding. 

Further assessments were carried out by the council and police following initial reports suggesting the hole was around seven metres deep.

Upon inspection, authorities found the hole was in fact three metres wide and four metres deep.

The city council has not commented on the progress of these assessments, but ward councillor Marion Maxwell said it continues to be monitored.

Frere Road in Heartsease 

Frere Road in Heartsease - Credit: Ben Hardy

She said: "It's being dealt with. I have not heard anything about it recently but I know it's cordoned off and they are working on it.

Lord Mayor of Norwich Marion Maxwell. Photo: Steve Adams

Lord Mayor of Norwich Marion Maxwell. Photo: Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

"I have long Covid so I have not been out there for a few weeks myself."