Call for action over river deemed dangerous

A FORMER town councillor is calling for action over a neglected river “before someone gets hurt”.

Sandra Sarll, an ex member of Arlesey Town Council, has voiced concerns over the build up of silt on a stretch of the River Hiz at Mill Lane in Arlesey.

“They don’t dredge it and over the years the silt builds up,” she explained.

“Someone could get stuck in there, like a few years ago when a boy’s dog went into the river.

“The boy went after the dog and got stuck in all the mud.

“He couldn’t get out and was calling for help.”

She said her son, who was walking down by the river, heard him and fetched planks of wood to use to rescue him.

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“The boy had the sense to be very still, but he was up to his thighs and said his legs were crushed and numb,” said Ms Sarll.

She said the build up of silt has made it difficult to see where the edge of the river is, and the banks of the river are overgrown.

Ms Sarll, who lives in Carters Way in Arlesey, has worked at the conifer nursery that runs alongside the river at Mill Lane for 32 years. “This is the worst I have ever seen it,” she said.

“There are stinging nettles in the middle of the river.

“In some areas it’s completely covered and you can’t see any water.”

She concluded: “A lot of children unaccompanied go down there.

“I’m calling for something to be done before someone gets hurt. It’s just waiting to happen.”

A spokesman for the Environment Agency said: “The Environment Agency regularly advises youngsters to be aware of the potential dangers of rivers.”