A COUPLE from Hollywell Green had the fright of their lives after waking up to find a crater where their garden should be.
Peter Smith, 70, and wife Avril, 64, of Greaves Fold, realised their back garden had collapsed into the nearby Shavey Clough brook – leaving just 10 feet between the huge ditch and the back door.
Mr Smith said: "It looks like we've had an earthquake.
"I couldn't believe it. I just thought, 'Where's my garden gone?'
"I loved my garden, we'd just got it all sorted and now it's a crater. It's frightening how close it is to the house."
During the night, paving slabs, soil and rockery fell into the brook which runs along the bottom of the garden.
Mr Smith, 70, said: "I woke up to hear my wife screaming in the kitchen, so I came down to see what was going on.
"I was totally knocked back and dumbfounded.
"There's one tree in the garden that's propping everything up.
"The house might have gone too if it hadn't have been there.
"We think that the flooding, which happened here a couple of years ago, could have weakened the surrounding walls.
"The severe frost we've had recently probably hasn't helped either."
Mr and Mrs Smith have lived at the property for 15 years and saw their neighbours go through a similar situation a few years ago.
Mr Smith added: "We are worried that it might block the brook and if that happens it will flood all over again.
"We're just hoping there won't be any more rainfall."
The couple are currently in talks with their insurance company.
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