A SATURATED and moving hillside is threatening to wipe out a 'shattered' Greenock homeowner's garden with a massive landslip.

Maureen McFarlane has faced a two-year battle to find out who owns the large chunk of sodden and rapidly deteriorating land that has put her property in peril.

With the identity of the owner remaining a mystery, Maureen has sought legal advice after both Inverclyde Council and Scottish Water said they have no responsibility for her predicament.

Maureen told the Telegraph: "It's a constant worry.

"I suffer from depression because this has been going on for so long now.

"No-one will tell me who owns the land, yet it's a constant danger to my property."

Maureen, of Merino Road, and her friend Barry Stocking, pictured, have planted trees in a desperate bid to soak up the huge amounts of excess groundwater but the problem has only worsened.

Barry said: "We had a contractor here to try to divert the water and he was digging a trench to put a pipe in.

"But the water was coming up just as fast as he was digging.

"It's an awful situation."

Maureen said: "I feel terrible because I don't know what else to do.

"The contractor said that the ground is moving and if I don't get something done about it soon it's going to come right down here and swamp my back garden.

"It will be a landslip into my garden.

"You can already see water pouring out of the wall.

"I really am at my wits end with it now — just shattered."

Maureen and Barry initially thought that the problem was being caused by a drain but it has now been confirmed that huge amounts of groundwater are to blame.

They fear that her garden will not survive another winter.

Barry said: "The guy who came out from Scottish Water was great.

"He tried and he was very forthcoming with keeping us updated with as much as he could find out.

"But the problem just persists."

A spokesman for Scottish Water said: "We investigated this matter and an eight inch public water main in the area is not responsible for the water rising issue.

"Our investigations confirmed that other pipework in the area is privately owned.

"However, water samples taken indicated that the source of the issue was groundwater.

"Private pipes and groundwater are not matters Scottish water is responsible for.

"But we are happy to provide any help and advice required."

The estate Maureen lives on was built in the early 1990s and the local authority says it is not responsible.

An Inverclyde Council spokesman said: "Ground water is flowing down the steep bank behind the property.

"The banking is owned and maintained by a subsidiary of the developer which originally built these homes.

"We have checked the surrounding surface drainage systems using remotely controlled cameras.

"The drains are working properly and our survey found no defects.

"In these circumstances, we would advise the property owner to contact the next door landowner about the ongoing issues."