A court has ordered a 52-year-old farmer to pay over €8,600 (£7,379) after his silage clamp discharged into a river.
Jasper Miller, 52, of Lower Fifehead Farm in Fifehead St Quintin, appeared before North Somerset Magistrates Court on June 14th, 2021.
He pleaded guilty to causing an incident that saw the River Divelish, a tributary of the River Stour, polluted for over 3 kilometres between June 25th and 29th, 2019.
He was fined £1,300 and ordered to pay £6,079 at North Somerset Magistrates Court on 14 June 2021.
More than 400 fish were killed because the Dorset farm owner was unaware effluent from his silage clamp was discharging into a river.
The court heard from the Environment Agency that a member of the public reported seeing dead fish. As a result, officers went to investigate.
Tracking the pollution upstream, they eventually found silage effluent discharging from a pipe connected to the farm.
Dye tracing established the link between the silage clamp, and the pipe. Miller admitted that the wrong pipe had been unblocked, leading to the discharge.
To mitigate the impact, he began removing polluted water for proper disposal by tanker.
Sara Durden of the Environment Agency said:
“Good intelligence sent to us through our hotline is more important than ever. It allows us to react accordingly and take the appropriate action.”
“We take incidents of agricultural pollution very seriously. While most cases can be resolved by following guidance, we will take enforcement if the offence is serious.”
“This incident could have been avoided if proper maintenance and checks to the drainage system had been made prior to the silage clamp being filled.”
Court for tractor driver for no tax and ‘checking messages on their phone’
Meanwhile, across the waters in Ireland, a tractor driver is set for a day in court after they were brought to haul by Gardaí in Co Waterford.
Gardaí on patrol of the county on Saturday, June 26th, observed a motorist on their phone whilst driving a tractor, that was out of tax for nine years.
In a tweet, a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána said:
“Gardaí on patrol in Waterford on Saturday observed the driver of this tractor checking their messages on their phone.”
“The tractor was stopped, and it was discovered his tax expired in 2012, around 3250 days previous. An FCPN was issued, and court proceedings are to follow.”