‘No farmer likes to see pollution’

The Environment Agency said it is working hard to reduce pollution incidents at Lancashire farms
The Environment Agency said it is working hard to reduce pollution incidents at Lancashire farms
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A farm is involved in a serious pollution incident at least once a month in Lancashire.

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Andrew Pemberton

Andrew Pemberton

Data collated by the Bureau for Investigative Journalism shows there were 94 serious incidents of pollution reported to the Environment Agency between 2010 and 2016 across the Fylde coast and central Lancashire – or one every 23 days.

The incidents ranged from slurry leaks to polluting local watercourses, and authorised burning of waste including toxic building waste.

Fylde had 11 incidents and there were 15 in Wyre.

The Environment Agency has powers to investigate pollution in water or on land.

Graham Miller, Environment Agency land and water team leader, said: “The latest figures show that there has been a reduction in the amount of fuel and oil incidents, however, slurry and silage pollution incidents have remained the consistent main source of agricultural pollution incidents within Lancashire.

“Locally, we have established agriculture pollution ‘hotspots’ and we are targeting inspections accordingly to those areas where the most incidents have occurred.

“The Environment Agency is working hard to reduce the number of pollution incidents.”

Andrew Pemberton, who has run Birks Farm, Ballam Road, Lytham, for more than 30 years said: “I think we are well policed by the likes of the Environment Agency.

“When we have an annual review we have to show all the waste disposal means for the last year. It’s a list as long as your arm.

“We want the countryside to look as nice as everyone else. No farm wants to cause any issue with the environment. If you upset the environment it will come back to haunt you later on. There is a knock-on effect.

“The majority of farmers adhere to the rules.”

Reporting pollution

Members of the public can report pollution incidents by calling 0800 807060.