WORK on damaged Wool Bridge is not likely to start in earnest until next week because of predicted bad weather over the next few days.

Engineers will be using a crane to lower large bags of aggregate into the River Frome, to protect the Grade II* listed structure, which features in famous literature by Thomas Hardy, from further erosion. However, high winds forecast this week are unsuitable conditions for a large crane to operate in.

Dorset County Council (DCC) was first notified of an issue with the historic bridge last week, and engineers started monitoring it. Then, on Monday, part of the wall foundation was discovered washed away.

A DCC spokesman said: "The longer term plan for repair will be to wait until summer when conditions are better, dam the affected area off to allow it to dry out and we can see what has happened."

A cordon has been established around the area.