Wobbly mud in the New Forest

Wobbly mud in the Forest

Wobbly mud in the Forest

First published in News
Last updated

IT is a bizarre phenomenon that makes the ground become more like jelly.

Now a video has captured the moment that the ground started to wobble beneath a pair of dog walker's feet in a Hampshire field.

The video shows the ground rippling and bulging underneath a pair of dog walkers as they ventured across a waterlogged field in the New Forest.

Nick and Beth Minister were walking their dog Molly when they felt the earth move beneath them, and with them to capture the moment it happened was Ben Havers - he described the mud as a 'magic carpet'.

He said: “We just happened upon it, there were several similar patches to this one. This was the first one we came across. It was about 10ft sq in area.”

One part of the video shows muddy water bubbling out of a hole after Mr Minister pierced the ground with a stick - the group likened this to a giant pimple.

Mr Havers added: “It's very clay heavy ground around there so we were quite confident it was a shallow recess and not a deep 'sinkhole' underneath.”

Senior Tree Officer at the New Forest National Park Authority Bryan Wilson explained the 'wobbly effect'.

He said: “It is not an uncommon occurrence in the New Forest in times of heavy rainfall. What the reason is that you have an impermeable level of soil that the water cannot penetrate, so when you get this unprecedented level of rain fall you get water building up to the surface.

“On the surface you have a growing layer of grass within about two or three inches of soil, and underneath that you have this layer of water so it is like walking on a waterbed.”

Bryan has worked in the New Forest for more than 25 years.

He added: “You will find it across various spots of the Forest during the winter time, but what is different about this is the levels of rain are covering bigger areas of ground. I have never seen anything like this being so widespread like it is now.”

He also warned that people should not do what the dog walkers in the video did and walk across the wobbly areas.

Comments (10)

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2:21pm Wed 19 Feb 14

mercrocker says...

This is nothing new nor related to recent rainfall. The phenomenon has existed for decades. I used to play on it at Gatebridge where it was always present unless the ground really dried out over a particularly hot summer. Probably more widespread, I will admit but there seems to be far more people walking around over it now too!
This is nothing new nor related to recent rainfall. The phenomenon has existed for decades. I used to play on it at Gatebridge where it was always present unless the ground really dried out over a particularly hot summer. Probably more widespread, I will admit but there seems to be far more people walking around over it now too! mercrocker
  • Score: 5

2:24pm Wed 19 Feb 14

southy says...

How foolish can people get, theres a reason why that ground gone like that there is sand underneath its ok when little water is mix in but when it becomes waterlog it could be deep enough to take you under, commonly called quicksand
How foolish can people get, theres a reason why that ground gone like that there is sand underneath its ok when little water is mix in but when it becomes waterlog it could be deep enough to take you under, commonly called quicksand southy
  • Score: -12

3:27pm Wed 19 Feb 14

dolomiteman says...

southy wrote:
How foolish can people get, theres a reason why that ground gone like that there is sand underneath its ok when little water is mix in but when it becomes waterlog it could be deep enough to take you under, commonly called quicksand
Wow, another area of Southy's expertise.
That would explain all the people and wildlife that go missing in the Forest area every year, thanks for this Southy I will be more careful whilst out walking now.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: How foolish can people get, theres a reason why that ground gone like that there is sand underneath its ok when little water is mix in but when it becomes waterlog it could be deep enough to take you under, commonly called quicksand[/p][/quote]Wow, another area of Southy's expertise. That would explain all the people and wildlife that go missing in the Forest area every year, thanks for this Southy I will be more careful whilst out walking now. dolomiteman
  • Score: 6

4:04pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Cyber__Fug says...

southy wrote:
How foolish can people get, theres a reason why that ground gone like that there is sand underneath its ok when little water is mix in but when it becomes waterlog it could be deep enough to take you under, commonly called quicksand
Being that the area has a predominantly clay undersoil, I would suggest that Mr Bryan Wilsons explanation, with his 25 years of working in the New Forest, is far more plausible than your "guess".
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: How foolish can people get, theres a reason why that ground gone like that there is sand underneath its ok when little water is mix in but when it becomes waterlog it could be deep enough to take you under, commonly called quicksand[/p][/quote]Being that the area has a predominantly clay undersoil, I would suggest that Mr Bryan Wilsons explanation, with his 25 years of working in the New Forest, is far more plausible than your "guess". Cyber__Fug
  • Score: 4

4:05pm Wed 19 Feb 14

LadySam says...

There are lots of these patches of ground in the Forest and always have been but anyone who walks over them is a fool. Beneath is bog or quicksand and if you fall through you will in trouble. Every year some muppet gets stuck out there because they don't stick to the paths.
There are lots of these patches of ground in the Forest and always have been but anyone who walks over them is a fool. Beneath is bog or quicksand and if you fall through you will in trouble. Every year some muppet gets stuck out there because they don't stick to the paths. LadySam
  • Score: -2

4:49pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Dasal says...

LadySam wrote:
There are lots of these patches of ground in the Forest and always have been but anyone who walks over them is a fool. Beneath is bog or quicksand and if you fall through you will in trouble. Every year some muppet gets stuck out there because they don't stick to the paths.
OK !
Apologies to "southy" anyone ???
No. I didn't think so.............
poor old southy, even when he's right - he's wrong !!
[quote][p][bold]LadySam[/bold] wrote: There are lots of these patches of ground in the Forest and always have been but anyone who walks over them is a fool. Beneath is bog or quicksand and if you fall through you will in trouble. Every year some muppet gets stuck out there because they don't stick to the paths.[/p][/quote]OK ! Apologies to "southy" anyone ??? No. I didn't think so............. poor old southy, even when he's right - he's wrong !! Dasal
  • Score: -4

4:55pm Wed 19 Feb 14

IronLady2010 says...

http://www.new-fores
t-national-park.com/
new-forest-bogs.html
http://www.new-fores t-national-park.com/ new-forest-bogs.html IronLady2010
  • Score: -1

5:24pm Wed 19 Feb 14

SaintAsh1964 says...

Plenty of spots on the New Forest Golf club too, basically the Forest floor a big sponge and the more the rain falls the more water it holds, and if you fall through the top layer of Grass/Moss you'll be up to your waist in stinking water...you have been warned!
Plenty of spots on the New Forest Golf club too, basically the Forest floor a big sponge and the more the rain falls the more water it holds, and if you fall through the top layer of Grass/Moss you'll be up to your waist in stinking water...you have been warned! SaintAsh1964
  • Score: 4

9:33pm Wed 19 Feb 14

Cenred says...

Having witnessed a relative being suddenly sucked chest-deep into a very similar patch of wobbly ground near Rufus Stone several years ago, and having to haul them out back out again, I must agree with those who say it is not sensible or safe to walk on it. A very scary experience for all concerned!
Having witnessed a relative being suddenly sucked chest-deep into a very similar patch of wobbly ground near Rufus Stone several years ago, and having to haul them out back out again, I must agree with those who say it is not sensible or safe to walk on it. A very scary experience for all concerned! Cenred
  • Score: 1

12:22pm Thu 20 Feb 14

southy says...

Dasal wrote:
LadySam wrote:
There are lots of these patches of ground in the Forest and always have been but anyone who walks over them is a fool. Beneath is bog or quicksand and if you fall through you will in trouble. Every year some muppet gets stuck out there because they don't stick to the paths.
OK !
Apologies to "southy" anyone ???
No. I didn't think so.............
poor old southy, even when he's right - he's wrong !!
Its just a case of knowing a just a little bit of the history of the New Forest and the type ground the forest was planted on, its an undulating level of sand and clay moor land and the hollows fill up with a mix of sand and clay ok when dry but its a problem when wet your ok while the thing layer of earth on top that forms the crust but break though it and that,s when you start to sink, though out the History the New Forest as been known for its bogs and quick sand and people who got into trouble .
[quote][p][bold]Dasal[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]LadySam[/bold] wrote: There are lots of these patches of ground in the Forest and always have been but anyone who walks over them is a fool. Beneath is bog or quicksand and if you fall through you will in trouble. Every year some muppet gets stuck out there because they don't stick to the paths.[/p][/quote]OK ! Apologies to "southy" anyone ??? No. I didn't think so............. poor old southy, even when he's right - he's wrong !![/p][/quote]Its just a case of knowing a just a little bit of the history of the New Forest and the type ground the forest was planted on, its an undulating level of sand and clay moor land and the hollows fill up with a mix of sand and clay ok when dry but its a problem when wet your ok while the thing layer of earth on top that forms the crust but break though it and that,s when you start to sink, though out the History the New Forest as been known for its bogs and quick sand and people who got into trouble . southy
  • Score: -2

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