BBC Home
Explore the BBC



Last Updated: Friday July 24 2009 07:22 GMT

Floods create canyon in Durham

Trench created by floodwaters in Durham

A 25-metre canyon opened up in a matter of minutes in a field in County Durham after heavy rains caused powerful flooding in the area.

The trench, nicknamed the Grand Canyon of Durham, is hundreds of metres long and up to four metres deep.

It appeared in a flat barley field near Durham City, after storms at the weekend.

When the water went down the trench was revealed. It's thought to be a forgotten branch of the River Wear.

Locals think the nearby Wear used to run along the course of the canyon, but was diverted by monks in the 15th century.

It's though 12,000 cubic metres of soil, weighing 15,000 tonnes, were washed away.