A LARGE sinkhole said to be at least eight feet deep has opened up in Townhill Woods.

The alarm was raised last Thursday afternoon after two locals spotted the crater just off the main path.

It's thought the ground became unstable due to old mineworkings in the area and Fife Council acted quickly to tape off the area and contact the Coal Authority.

Ronnie Cowan, of Townhill Community Council, said: "Local dog-walkers Christine and Rab Ferrier often go litter-picking in the woods, they take a real pride in the community, and they spotted it.

"Fife Council were there within an hour of me reporting it to them.

"It's a big hole in open ground, it's not on the path, and due to the situation with old mines around here, this does happen from time to time.

"I'm told it's about eight feet deep."

The woods are popular with dog-walkers and locals out for a stroll while they're also used by nursery and school groups as part of their outdoor learning.

Mick Owens, of the Coal Authority’s public safety and subsidence team, said: “On Friday, January 13, we received a report of a ground collapse in Townhill from Fife Council.

"We are working closely with the council to carry out thorough investigations to determine the cause.

"If this was due to historical coal mine workings, we will design a permanent solution and carry out repair works as soon as we can.

"To report a coal mine hazard, please call us on 0800 288 4242, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

The Coal Authority took action in September 2020 after the Press reported that a "huge sinkhole" opened up near Queen Margaret Hospital.

The ground collapse happened in woodland close to the junction of Whitefield Road and Kingseat Road and it was so deep that they had to use around 250 tonnes of rock to fill the void.

A Coal Authority spokesperson had said the "likely cause of the collapse was historical unrecorded workings beneath the incident".