Spoil heap removed from Downs at last

A huge heap of rubble and soil contaminated with lead has been removed from Clifton Downs exactly a year after it was left there.

The heap was the result of work on a children’s playground near the Clifton Suspension Bridge. In May last year workmen were drilling drainage into the solid rock below the playground to prevent it from being a quagmire every winter.

As part of the original bid the contractors said they would take out the residue topsoil and spread it over the Downs.

 “When it was taken out it was discovered that it was contaminated with lead. It’s not dangerous but obviously it could not be spread around the Downs, ” said Cll=. Paula O’Rourke, a Green councillor for Clifton ward.

“The engineering project has worked very well. It has certainly been tested this very wet winter. However, trace contamination has meant the soil and rock has had to be disposed of in a more complicated way than usual.l”  

The rubble and soil was taken to a landfill site. The spoil heap was on one of the new wildflower beds which have been planted on various parts of the Downs. 

“We have spoken to the Downs ranger to ensure that the land is restored to its previous condition, ” said Cllr O’Rourke.