Fracking? Housing? Gold? No – this is mystery drilling truth...

Drilling in the field in Eastern Way
Drilling in the field in Eastern Way

A mysterious incident of drilling in a field close to Heath and Reach piqued the interest of LBO readers this week.

Curious Peter Brackenbury submitted the above image, showing three men drilling in the field off Eastern Way, close to the A5.

Suspicion about what was behind the drilling provoked some intriguing theories when we shared the picture on Facebook.

Emma Lenander posted: “Fracking or drilling a well for livestock?”

To which Andrea Marriott responded: “Hope it’s not ruddy fracking, don’t fancy the idea of Heath and Reach disappearing into a great hole in the future.”

Mick Turrel posted: “Surveying for a massive housing development.”

He added: “I have heard there is gold in them there hills!!!”

Other readers were convinced illegal activity was behind the drilling. Beds Police however, viewed it as a civil matter, while Central Beds Council were completely unaware who was behind it.

Your LBO sleuths had a tricky time getting to the bottom of this conundrum. Eventually, we were referred to Garside Sands, who run a nearby quarry.

A spokesman said: “This is related to planning permission since 1955 with the potential to extract sand from that area. It’s part of the county’s mineral plan. The drilling programme is to determine the quality of sand that’s there.”

You learn something new every day!