GIANT bags which were used near Easton and Headbourne Worthy to flood the River Itchen to protect Winchester are due to be removed this week.

In February the Environment Agency placed large bags full of gravel at the river near the M3.

The aim was to flood the nearby fields to minimise water levels in Winchester.

Cllr Kim Gottlieb, of the Itchen Valley, said: “The plan is to remove the large boulders by crane and some of the bags of gravel.

“The gravel will be allowed to flow down the river in the locations where the channel is over deep, and will not cause a restriction in the future. The empty bags will be removed altogether.

“They are not planning to do this all at one time and will start by splitting a few of the bags to monitor the effect. Then the remaining bags will be split over the next few weeks. The timing of the works will depend on safe access being possible and avoiding detrimental effects to angling interests.”