Bodicote residents have expressed their dismay after Thames Water blocked access to a river bank used as a summer bathing point by village children.
Thames Water confirmed on Monday it erected the two-metre metal palisade fence blocking access to the bank of the Sor Brook just outside Bodicote.
But some residents have spoken out, saying a cherished recreation area has been cut off.
Ron Glynn, chairman of Bodicote Parish Council, said: “It’s something that’s always been there, a little bathing place where kids used to go and have done for years. It’s a pity they’ve gone and put such an ugly fence there, it looks like a prison.
“We first noticed a temporary fence had been put up there which had phone numbers posted on it, but when we rang the numbers nobody admitted putting it up.” He continued: “It’s such a ghastly fence and it’s a health hazard as it is because the kids will climb on the wall and try to go in there anyway. To put the fence up after all these years because it has ‘suddenly’ become a danger seems very strange.”
Village resident Steve Gilkes, whose son used to play in the brook with his friends, said: “My son and his friends used to use it and youngsters used to be able to fish for newts. It’s killjoy behaviour, they should take it down if it has been put up just to stop people swimming.”
Becky Trotman of Thames Water issued a statement confirming the fence was erected to prevent contamination of the Sor Brook, from which water is pumped to the Grimsbury Water Treatment works.
She said: “We’ve had to fence off our property due to problems with anti-social behaviour, which are having a detrimental effect on the brook.”
Issues include groups leaving beer cans and cigarette ends around the brook.