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PENSIONER Alfred Bostock has criticised a council for digging up a rural lane.

The 90-year-old has been living in Apless Lane, Worlds End, near Denmead, for almost four decades.

But he was angry when Hampshire County Council dug up part of the grass verge.

The verges were used by horseriders and walkers, but have now been dug up to create ditches.

Mr Bostock said: ‘It’s a mess that has been left.

‘It was a pretty lane before and I was very proud to live here. But they have ruined it.’

Councillor Mel Kendal, who is in charge of environment at the council , said: ‘We do appreciate Mr Bostock’s concerns and, in May, we wrote to him to explain that there had been an issue with flooding in Apless Lane.

‘The cause was due mainly to the ditches being filled in as a result of motorists driving on the soft grass verges of this narrow stretch of road and this meant rainwater was unable to drain away from the road surface. To solve the problem, the ditches have been reinstated and, in line with usual practice, the soil that was removed was placed on the road’s verges.

‘While I do agree that this can look unsightly at first, once new grass and wildflowers take hold, the raised verges will blend more sensitively into the surrounding scenery.’