Dorset

Large sink-hole opens up on Dorset coast path

sink-hole, Bronkham Hill, May 2019 Image copyright Dorset Council
Image caption The sink-hole has formed beside the South Dorset Ridgeway

A 30m (98ft)-wide sink-hole has formed beside a national trail in Dorset.

The pit first appeared on Bronkham Hill near Dorchester in February as a small hole "the size of a dinner plate", Dorset Council said.

Part of the South Dorset Ridgeway was closed while the hole was investigated by geologists.

The council said the sink-hole had since widened considerably and stabilised. The inland coastal path has been reopened.

Image copyright Dorset Council
Image caption The pit first appeared in February as a hole "the size of a dinner plate"

John Sellgren, Executive Director for Place at Dorset Council, said: "When this hole was first reported we took action as we knew it could indicate a chasm of unknown depth."

The sink-hole is believed to have been formed during the last Ice Age by meltwater dissolving the rock below the land surface, the council said.

The Bronkham Hill area contains about 200 grassy pits, called dolines, which have been formed from past sink-holes.

Image copyright Nigel Mykura
Image caption The Bronkham Hill area contains about 200 old sink-holes

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