POLICE have been called in to investigate a 12ft trench which was dug up across a footpath in Urmston Meadows

As the Messenger reported last week, the trench was reportedly dug up by a JCB in the middle of the night creating fears that the illegal excavation had breached the banks of the River Mersey.

The trench, which is believed to have been dug four weeks ago was preventing horse riders, cyclists and walkers from using the footpath and has created a risk to somebody falling into it.

A spokesman for Trafford Council, which is responsible for the meadows, said: "Officers from a number of council departments, with assistance from the Environment Agency, have visited Urmston Meadows to investigate a report that an unauthorised and substantial trench had been dug.

"Following this investigation, the matter has now been referred to the police to investigate the damage and to try to identify who has caused the damage."

Urmston councillor Kevin Procter told the Messenger that since last week's story was reported many residents had contacted him expressing their concerns about the safety of the area as a result of this incident.

Cllr Procter added: "I welcome the involvement of the police in trying to identify the perpetrator, and hope that we can return the site to its previous condition as soon as possible.

"This does also highlight the need for all areas of Trafford to be regularly monitored by the council, and prompt action taken to deal with problems, especially where there are health and safety issues, as in this case”.

A GMP spokesman confirmed its involvement, explaining: "Police were called at 5.15pm on Thursday 20 July 2017 to reports of criminal damage that occurred sometime between Sunday, June 25 and Wednesday, June 28.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.