A group of Herbrandston residents have reached breaking point after a 'torturous' mystery noise made life in the village a 'living hell'.

Jane and Steve Ingram said life at their quiet Herbrandston home became unbearable when a low, drowning noise started keeping them awake at night.

Jane, who began to hear the drone back in 2009, said she hasn't had a full night's sleep in years and has even considered moving house.

She said: “At first it was a noise similar to a car engine running. I would get up in the middle of the night to see if there was a car out there, and there never was.

“And when I put my head on the pillow, I hear big machines drilling underground. It’s torturous.”

Over the last few years the noise has been described as a constant humming, a low drone, or vibration, which goes on and off throughout the night.

The couple thought the noise was emanating from one of the two oil refineries or LNG facilities on their doorstep, and last August they contacted Port Health and the Environment Agency, which launched an investigation.

Although the investigation detected low frequency noise at 63 Herz (42decibels), its source remained a mystery.

Steve said: “We’ve lived in this house since 1980, and we’ve always had noise from Murco and Valero, and we’re used to that. This is a different type of noise, and we do not know where it comes from.

"It can travel seven miles or more because it is low frequency, and even if the jetty is empty, the noise is still there. A lot of people are getting depressed now and giving up."

Anne Kerr, who has lived at her home in St Margarets Way, Herbrandston, for 33 years, said she started hearing the noise about three years ago.

She said: "It's more of a vibration than a noise, it's very disturbing to my body - my heart vibrates.

"Sometimes I feel suicidal because it's becoming hell, like hell on earth."

Another sufferer Louise Cleaver said she is constantly haunted by the noise at her Tiers Cross home.

She said: "It's like living on a steep hill and having huge lorries constantly going up it in low gear."

Gill Peace, of Havens Park, added: "I have given up the ghost because it consumes your life."

Jane said: "We have come to the stage that we can’t do anything - but all we want is to find out what it is, and stop it."

Jane and Steve would like to form a cross-community working group to tackle the problem. Email ingram817@btinternet.com to register your interest.

Steve added: "We await the outcome but the message from the Port Health and EA is simple, if you are suffering in silence - don’t.

"They want you to inform, to give them the factual documented evidence they need, every day if necessary."

To report ship noise call Port Health on 01437 776389, and for land noise call Natural Resources Wales on 0800 807060.