Works are to be carried out to investigate an underground tunnel ahead of its repair - a project that will close a village road for five days.

The work is to take place on New Barn Road, to the south of Abbotsbury near the Swannery.

New Barn Road, between its junction with Grove Lane and number 10 - a distance of approximately 75 metres - is being closed so that 'trial holes' can be dug.

Originally the road would have been closed from Monday, January 23 to January 27 but it has been delayed until Monday, February 20, and is expected to be completed by Friday, February 24.

A Dorset Council Highways spokesperson said: “The works are around a culvert under the highway, which is in poor condition. We are considering different repair/replacement options, as the culvert is within a Scheduled Ancient Monument area and requires special consent prior to any works.

"We need to locate the services running over the culvert and their depths underneath the highway to work out the best solution. Therefore, working with a specialist archaeological contractor, we are digging one metre deep engineering and archaeological trial holes, the latter of which are needed in case there are archaeological deposits around the culvert.

"Please note that we have had to delay these works until late February. Works to repair/replace the culvert should commence later in 2023 after the summer holiday season."

A locally signed diversion route will be put in place to enable traffic to travel around the closed section. Drivers can expect delays.

For further information about the work being undertaken, call Dorset Highways Operations on 01305 228100.

Find this information online at