A DIGGER has been abandoned after becoming submerged in the River Itchen.

The vehicle belonging to Eagle Plant was believed to have been under the control of the Environment Agency.

No workers were at the Cow Down site in Itchen Abbas when a Chronicle reporter arrived.

One passer-by said the digger's petrol has not leaked into the water.

Currently, the water gushing past is clear in colour.

It is unknown when the vehicle will be extracted.

The digger is on site while restoration work is being carried out by the Hampshire and Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. 

Diseased ash trees have already been lopped and branches placed in the river.

While the work is carried out the riverbank has been fenced off meaning the locals will be shut out of their only access to the river.

As previously reported this has sparked anger and there is now a movement to register the area as a village green to win it back.

City councillor Jackie Porter told the Chronicle: “It is really disappointing that the landowners are fencing off the land which may result in muddy paths and as a result it is understood that we are all losing access to the river.

“People have enjoyed the countryside and in particular this spot for decades."

More to follow