WIDESPREAD flooding in Marlow has claimed its latest victim, with the authorities taking the decision to close Higginson Park.

Marlow’s riverside park has been badly affected by the rising water levels on the Thames, with Wycombe District Council saying this morning it had become unsafe.

It is the first time in at least 20 years that the park has been closed due to flooding.

Council spokesman Catherine Spalton said: "In light of the current flood levels at Higginson Park, Wycombe District Council has taken the decision to close the park.

“The gates have been locked and hazard tape added to other entrances. The water levels will be monitored and the park will be re-opened when it becomes safe again. The police are supportive of this decision.”

Yesterday, canoeists took advantage of the new lake created when the Thames burst its banks as the park became inaccessible to those without a boat.

Nearby Pound Lane was also closed yesterday, with residents evacuated from their homes and firefighters spending the day pumping water away from buildings.

The council has not yet confirmed if there is any damage to property in the park.

There is more rain forecast for later this week, and the Envronment Agency's food warning remains in place for Marlow and the stretch of river to Bourne End.