A DISUSED mineshaft has collapsed just yards from a primary school.

The former lead mine on land at Halkyn Mountain, Rhesycae, opened up on Sunday night.

At 30 feet wide and 15 feet deep, it is thought the recent dry weather caused the earth to shrink and the ground to sink.

Yesterday representatives from Flintshire Council and landowners the Grosvenor Estate were at the scene, which was sealed off with yellow tape.

Halkyn resident Charles Wrench, whose home looks out on to the hole, had a big shock when he opened his curtains yesterday morning.

Speaking at the scene, Mr Wrench told the Leader: “I woke at about 8am and looked out of the window and right away I noticed it.

“I immediately had a panic attack caused by the fact I have lived through a couple of small earthquakes.

“I called the police and then went to the primary school to let them know.

“I took some pictures on my digital camera and sent them to a friend in Spain who is a geologist.

“He looked at all the data and said the fault line only reaches to my fence so my house should be okay.”

Tracy Goodfellow, acting headteacher at the Rhesycae Primary School, issued a note to children yesterday to ensure parents were aware of the hole.

She said: “Children use the common all the time to walk to school so they have had a lucky escape.

“We have just advised parents to make sure they stick to the footpaths on the mountain and don’t wander onto the green.

“We have all been looking at it out of the window and explaining to the children what might have caused it.

“Years ago they did a lot of mining there so it may be one of those that have opened up.

“We are just letting the experts get on with it.”

Halkyn councillor Colin Legg said: “Halkyn was a very important mining area 30 years ago.

“New ones are opening up all the time.

“Back in the day, miners used to come home from work and then go back down and try their own luck by digging shafts.

“If they didn’t strike lucky they just covered them up with stones.

“These things happen from time to time because there are so many hollow shafts.
I think it was the hot weather that has made the earth dry.”

Chester-based Grosvenor Estate were unavailable for comment.