‘Famous’ pile of dirt full of lead left next to Clifton play park is finally taken away

-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)
-Credit: (Image: Copyright Unknown)


A “famous” pile of dirt and rubble left next to a play park in Clifton has finally been taken away. The pile of spoil, which was contaminated with lead, had been left on a patch of grass in May last year.

Contractors left the pile there after carrying out drainage works to the Suspension Bridge play park off Observatory Road. A dispute between them and Bristol City Council led to an impasse over who should pay for the works to remove the pile.

However the area is still fenced off and a bare patch of earth has been left in its place. Grass seed has been spread so the ground should return back to normal “as soon as possible”, and the council’s park department is planning to carry out remedial works soon.

Read more: Huge pile of rubble contaminated with lead left for months next to play park

Read more: Huge pile of rubble contaminated with lead left next to play park for six months

The spoil heap left in Clifton before it was removed -Credit:Alex Seabrook
The spoil heap left in Clifton before it was removed -Credit:Alex Seabrook

Ben Skuse, area parks supervisor, said: “Our famous pile of spoil in Clifton has now been removed. Hopefully one day soon we’ll get a level grassed area back there.”

Because of the lead, the soil had to be sent to a specialist site in Dudley, a town in the West Midlands. Originally the contractors were planning to spread the soil, which they removed from the play park, across the Downs — until they found out about the lead.

Initially the council tried to get the contractors to pay to take the pile away, but they refused, leading to months of negotiations. However, in the end the council’s parks department carried out the removal work.

The drainage works were needed as the play park frequently flooded, becoming a quagmire whenever it rained. The leftover rubble was then dumped metres away on a patch of grass.