SANDBAGS distributed during the winter flooding that nearly engulfed the Romsey area are to be collected next week.

More than 80,000 of them were provided by Test Valley Borough Council and stacked with help from the Army and the Royal Navy in a bid to stem water mainly from the River Test.

Now, as the threat of flooding recedes, they will be picked up and then recycled.

Residents and businesses wishing to dispose of their sandbags should place them at the front of their property on the day before the collection date.

Borough council leader Cllr Ian Carr, said: “It was a massive round the clock operation to deploy thousands of sandbags to residents and businesses across Test Valley.

“Collecting them will be an equally challenging task, though some people may feel it prudent to retain uncontaminated sandbags for future use.”

Times and places of the pick ups are: Thursday, April 3, Romsey Bypass, Middlebridge Street, Riverside Gardens; Friday, April 4, Rivermeade, Cherville Street, Mill Lane ; Saturday, April 5, Budds Lane, Greatbridge Road, Fishlake Meadows estate; Tuesday, April 8, King’s Somborne and Wednesday, April 9 Stockbridge.

Residents can store uncontaminated sandbags for future use or dig the sand into soil if not contaminated.

Empty sandbags can be disposed of in normal bins for collection.

If people require help call the Customer Services team on 01264 368000 or 01794 527700 two days before the collection date.