Farmer fined for breaching environmental
A dairy farmer based in North Devon has been prosecuted by the
Environment Agency following slurry pollution.
Peter Willes, the owner of Higher Alminstone Farm in Woolsery,
Bideford, pleaded guilty to three environmental offences during the
hearing at North Devon Magistrates Court.
Willes allowed controlled waste including fridges, tyres and
light bulbs to be deposited on a nearby Hartland farm. The waste
was then burnt, releasing fumes into the atmosphere.
The farmer also pleased guilty to allowing slurry, milk and
effluent to flow into local streams. Colonies of blood worms were
found to be present in the streams, which are a sign of prolonged
Sean McKay from the Environment Agency said, "No drainage survey
was carried out when the dairy was expanded to identify risks and
to divert water polluted with cattle faeces to the slurry tank.
"In addition, an enormous silage store had been built without
complying with the guidelines. This had resulted in prolonged
discharges of silage effluent and slurry to two separate streams,
both of which were extensively affected," he said.
Willes was fined £19,500 plus £4,190 costs for breaching both
the Water Resources Act 1991, and Section 33 of the Environmental
Protection Act 1990.